CfP Games and Artificial Intelligence special issue, Journal for Digital Culture & Society

Inviting for submissions for a forthcoming issue of the Journal for Digital Culture & Society “Rethinking AI: Neural Networks, Biopolitics and the New Artificial Intelligence.”

The meaning of AI has undergone drastic changes during the last 60 years of AI discourse(s). What we talk about when saying “AI” is not what it meant in 1958, when John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky and their colleagues started using the term. Take game design as an example: When the Unreal game engine introduced “AI” in 1999, they were mainly talking about pathfinding. For Epic Megagames, the producers of Unreal, an AI was just a bot or monster whose pathfinding capabilities had been programmed in a few lines of code to escape an enemy. This is not “intelligence” in the Minskyan understanding of the word (and even less what Alan Turing had in mind when he designed the Turing test). There are also attempts to differentiate between AI, classical AI and “Computational Intelligence” (Al-Jobouri 2017). The latter is labelled CI and is used to describe processes such as player affective modelling, co-evolution, automatically generated procedural environments, etc.
Artificial intelligence research has been commonly conceptualised as an attempt to reduce the complexity of human thinking. (cf. Varela 1988: 359-75) The idea was to map the human brain onto a machine for symbol manipulation – the computer. (Minsky 1952; Simon 1996; Hayles 1999) Already in the early days of what we now call “AI research” McCulloch and Pitts commented on human intelligence and proposed in 1943 that the networking of neurons could be used for pattern recognition purposes (McCulloch/Pitts 1943). Trying to implement cerebral processes on digital computers was the method of choice for the pioneers of artificial intelligence research.
The “New AI” is no longer concerned with the needs to observe the congruencies or limitations of being compatible with the biological nature of human intelligence: “Old AI crucially depended on the functionalist assumption that intelligent systems, brains or computers, carry out some Turing-equivalent serial symbol processing, and that the symbols processed are a representation of the field of action of that system.” (Pickering 1993, 126) The ecological approach of the New AI has its greatest impact by showing how it is possible “to learn to recognize objects and events without having any formal representation of them stored within the system.” (ibid, 127) The New Artificial Intelligence movement has abandoned the cognitivist perspective and now instead relies on the premise that intelligent behaviour should be analysed using synthetically produced equipment and control architectures (cf. Munakata 2008). (:::::)

For the complete Call please see http://digicults.org/callforpapers/cfp-rethinking-ai/

call for papers

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