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Artificial? Naturally! Climate Change, AI, and the Quantification of Nature 
Alexandru Balasescu (Royal Roads University, Victoria, Canada)
Sandra Fernandez
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Monday 6 June, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

Two opposite tendencies shape our world: the fetishism of technology as both ultimate saviour and existential threat, and the "return" to nature facing Climate Change. This panel explores tensions and contradictions in the way we define nature, and how it is re-shaped in AI discourse and practices.

Long Abstract:

Two apparently opposite tendencies are shaping the world today: the universal appeal of technology as both ultimate saviour and existential threat for humans, and the centrality of the return to nature facing the challenges of Climate Change. "Artificial? Naturally!" is a panel inviting the participants to revisit the points of convergence of these tendencies, în order to propose an anthropological perspective of the complex dynamic at the intersection of nature, technology and culture as it is reshaped by the generalisation of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Some of the leading, but not limiting, themes could be:

Optimal Nature: what is the view of "nature" proposed in AI approaches on Climate Change solutions? what happens when we relate to nature as a measurable entity in a quasi digitized world?

Indigenous and non-AI knowledge: How does the deployment of AI systems intersect with other social and cultural systems of practices and knowledge production? How indigenous forms of knowledge could inform, transform, and reform AI algorithm design?

Natural Bodies: How do different conceptions of the ideal human body interact and shape AI design and application? And how does the use and abuse of AI reflect back on our understanding of the human body itself? How is the technological body racialized/ genderized/ classified? How does this reflect our relationship with categories such as "nature"?

Any form of submissions are welcome, from ethnographies of AI design, implementation, adoption and adaptation, to reflections on AI applications for Climate Change action.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Monday 6 June, 2022, -