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Accepted Paper:

Signal, interface, security: rethinking the distinctions between old and new (security) media  
Clare Stevens (Cardiff University)

Short abstract:

Rather than a focus on the phenomena of AI itself as though it is a clearly bounded or self-contained object, this paper will make the case for approaching such technological systems at their ‘interfaces.’

Long abstract:

Rather than a focus on the phenomena of AI itself as though it is a clearly bounded or self-contained object, this paper will make the case for approaching such technological systems at their ‘interfaces.’ Drawing on lessons and insights from cryptography practices during WW2, and comparing with contemporary military imaginaries, operative logics, and sociotechnical practices of networked and data systems as “machineries of knowledge production,” this paper will draw out a novel theory of interfaces as intermedia that will provide both conceptual and methodological insights for security scholars studying the interstices of military technologies (here in the form of signals, datasets and the ether) and security. While ‘interfaces’ may suggest self-evident boundaries, such as between humans and technology, or as contact zones between different mediums, by drawing on STS this paper will instead show that “rather than looking for boundaries of things, instead we must look for things of boundaries” (Abbott, 1995; Gieryn, 1999). By rethinking distinctions between old and new media, interfaces can thus work as both site and method in ways that help analysts trace how these machineries have been constituted historically, and thus challenge presentist assertions about the radical novelty of contemporary technological ‘revolutions.’

Traditional Open Panel P123
Martial epistemologies, artificial intelligence and machineries of knowledge production
  Session 1