[SIGCIS-Members] Call for proposals: A New AI Lexicon

McMillan, William W william.mcmillan at cuaa.edu
Sat Jan 16 07:18:31 PST 2021

Hi, Joy.

Thanks for posting this announcement.

In considering concepts, metaphors, and terms used in AI, I wonder if it would also be useful to address WHY different people and organizations pursue AI (and maybe you and your colleagues do already).

I found this helpful in teaching AI courses.  You'll see people casually say things like "The purpose of AI is to understand the human mind."

But this isn't the goal of applied AI at, say, Amazon, when they suggest I buy a nice Cross pen because I recently bought a nice Parker pen.  They aren't interested in my mind at all, and don't care if they model how I think.  They just want to sell a pen.

In contrast, a philosopher or mathematician working in AI might be interested in what is theoretically or practically computable in complex reasoning tasks.

A biologist might look at AI to get ideas for the study of birds' flocking behavior.

A psychologist might consider automated techniques employed in visual pattern recognition to get ideas about how the human visual system works.

I found that without considering goals or motivation to pursue AI, simply defining the field was pretty hopeless.  Terms and metaphors can vary quite a bit, depending on the AI researcher's goals and discipline (and also on the time period during which the work is done).

Not sure if this is that relevant to your pursuits, but FWIW...


From: Members [members-bounces at lists.sigcis.org] on behalf of Dr. Joy Lisi Rankin [drjoy at joyrankin.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2021 6:00 PM
To: Sigcis
Subject: [SIGCIS-Members] Call for proposals: A New AI Lexicon


I'm excited to share that my colleagues at AI Now, Noopur Raval and Amba Kak, have launched the project: A New AI Lexicon: Responses and Challenges to the Critical AI Discourse<https://medium.com/a-new-ai-lexicon/a-new-ai-lexicon-responses-and-challenges-to-the-critical-ai-discourse-f2275989fa62>. The projects aims to expand and revise critical AI thinking by attending to global racial histories, diverse queer movements, struggles of caste and tribe communities, and their specific place-based demands especially outside of the West. We need a more expansive stocktaking of race and gender relations as well as the variegated forms of marginalization globally.

As part of this project, we are inviting short essays that address or challenge a dominant concept, metaphor, or keyword along which critical AI thinking is currently undertaken (like Fairness, Transparency, Accountability, Bias, Auditing, Ghost Labor, Explainability, Social Good etc.). Or  identify new terms or formulations currently  missing from the discourse.

We encourage academics, activists, journalists and others, especially early career or junior colleagues researching global AI histories, materialities and futures to apply. We are able to offer financial support to a limited number of contributors, and the submission guidelines are available here: https://medium.com/a-new-ai-lexicon/a-new-ai-lexicon-responses-and-challenges-to-the-critical-ai-discourse-f2275989fa62

If you have any questions, or know someone who would be a good fit for this project, please feel free to reach out to me, Noopur (noopur at ainowinstitute.org<mailto:noopur at ainowinstitute.org>) or Amba (amba at ainowinstitute.org<mailto:amba at ainowinstitute.org>).

Thanks very much,

Joy Lisi Rankin | she/her/hers
Research Lead for the Gender, Race, and Power in AI Program
AI Now Institute<http://www.ainowinstitute.org/> @ NYU<https://www.nyu.edu/>
Author: A People's History of Computing in the US<https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674970977>
Recently: "Bodies into Bits<https://logicmag.io/care/bodies-into-bits/>" and "Whitewashing Tech<https://medium.com/@AINowInstitute/whitewashing-tech-why-the-erasures-of-the-past-matter-today-166d0d5e2789>"

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