CFP: The Human Being in the Digital Era: Awareness, Critical Thinking and Political Space in the Age of the Internet and Artificial Intelligence.
Submission deadline: September 1, 2022
The revolution linked to the advent of the internet, social media and artificial intelligence has just begun but is about to become one of the most radical changes in the history of the human kind. However, the speed of those transformations together with the presence of growing economic interests around traffic of users' Data raises serious questions about the sustainability of these changes that will increasingly have an impact on the development of socio-cognitive and critical competencies along with the nature of the public engagement within the political sphere of future generations. In fact, alongside optimistic considerations around these technologies fostering the access to huge amounts of information and to a communication almost without space-time boundaries through the simple connection to the network with a personal device, the dysfunctions related to an inappropriate use of the digital resources are increasingly evident. The introduction starting from the early 2000s of algorithms based on the principle of the relevance and personalization of the online navigation involves a system of hetero-directionality of the online experience, from our interactions with other users in the social media to the deployment of search engines, resulting in a significant shrinkage of our ability to autonomously and critically select information. This phenomenon, known as "bubble" or "filter bubble", indicates that the algorithms based on our previous navigations evaluate the relevance that the individual user assigns to the information to which she connects by providing ad hoc navigation options. These bubbles lead to the confirmation of the user's cognitive schemes and certainties rather than possibly putting them in crisis, representing, hence, the premise for the suspension of critical thinking. Internet and artificial intelligence as a tool of progress for humanity could represent a source of cognitive regression through an increasingly plausible fusion between human and machine that will promote in the future the so-called environmental intelligence, that is the even more massive intervention of artificial intelligence in daily decisions from heating the house, to diet, to the choice of one's own partner.
This monographic issue aims to investigate these forms of hetero-directionality represented by artificial intelligence and to discuss the role of philosophy and the human sciences in order to mitigate their excessive power and indicate alternative developments. It is widely observed that the power of algorithms to establish correlations based on previous user’s navigation is already considerably more powerful than that of human intelligence, which means that their use will become increasingly vital for practical and economic reasons. Therefore, the fundamental philosophical question is the following: what about human intelligence and his specificities in the sense of ethics, language, taste, art and political space? These inventions represent the safe dimension on which human history has been built and are nowadays undermined by the omnipresence of artificial intelligence and its power to decide for us. This issue aims also to address the productive relationship between the internet users and the owners of online service companies and the way in which it generates these services, in order to understand their expansion as a result of determinate social and economical balances. Philosophy finds renewed vigor and importance in this era of necessary rediscovery of man and his peculiarities with respect to the machine; this monographic issue aims to outline the scenarios of its role and its future use.
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