June 3-5, 2021
Paris 3 - Sorbonne nouvelle
Deadline: September 30, 2020
This is the first conference ever organized on the theme of Artificial Intelligence in fiction (literature, series, films, comics, video games): the focus will be on representations of AI and their meanings, as well as the creative uses of AI to produce and understand fiction.
A road trip entirely written by an artificial intelligence embedded in a car, Ross Goodwin's /1 the road/ has joined at the start of the 2019 literary season a whole series of texts whose common point was to stage and act out a dream of automation and artificialization of literary language, whose genealogy goes back at least to the first automatic writings of Oulipo: artificial intelligence is no longer just a fiction but a tool for producing fiction. Hito Steyerl revisits the narrative power of documentary film using deep learning algorithms to better question its ability to shape reality; /Second Earth /by Gregory Chatonsky takes us into a new world whose automatically generated images already tell the story, while by associating two images to a logical connector he shows the power of an algorithm to create a small story (/If... then/, 2009).
Embodied in figures, familiar, AI now offers incarnations that cannot be resolved on the apocalyptic horizon of robots waiting for the hour of singularity to triumph over the human species. AI is no longer just the object of a fantasy but is gradually becoming an everyday tool through facial recognition or personal assistants, while the first tools of predictive writing and cultural recommendation are emerging and it is announced that a story produced by an artificial intelligence would have been a finalist for a literary prize in Japan. We already knew the very rich mythology of AI in cinema, from 2001's /Odyssey of Space to Spielberg's /A.I. Artificial Intelligence/, via /Terminator /or /Her/: each time, the political, ethical and social stakes of AI open up avenues for deep critical reflection and question the most essential
philosophical categories by which we think about mankind and our place
in the world. But AI is now taking on a concrete presence.
/Databiographie /by Charly Delwart proposes to retrace a destiny based on digital data and their visualisations; /Le_zéro_et_le_un.txt /by Josselin Bordat tries to stage an artificial intelligence in the process of awakening to the world, /Kétamine /by Zoé Sagan sets a scene of a "predictive" journalist centred on data: never have we been so close to artificial agents that are integrated into our lives.
Moving from fantasy to computer tools, the fictional representations of AI are thus added to the fictional representations of the emerging uses of narrative AI by opening up a field of opportunity and fear for culture: on the one hand, creation by AI or assisted by AI can offer a major experimental field of interest to both conceptual writers and storytelling practitioners.
On the other hand, the way in which culture is "dated" and the way in which these dates are analyzed can profoundly affect the fiction industry and its attention control, further multiplying our perplexity about the emergence of artificial narrative intelligence.
Contributors are invited to consider one or other of these topics:
- examples of fictions produced by AI: tools, projects, applications, games;
- the computer methods used: GAN, machine learning, deep learning;
- AI's fiction: robots, cyborgs, computers;
- the themes of post-humanism, singularity, utopias and dystopias of AI;
- the cultural history of representations of AI and its inventors (Alan Turing for example);
- criticism produced by AI: audience analysis, scenario analysis, cultural recommendation algorithms;
- the analysis of fiction by AI methods in the field of Digital Humanities;
- the legal problems induced by creation: law, data sharing, tax system;
- the narrative aesthetics of AI, the link with conceptual art and performance literature;
- the transformation of theoretical categories by AI and the modification of the vocabulary of criticism and aesthetic philosophy, from the notion of narration to that of literature;
- the representation of psychological, ethical and political problems induced by AI, from Asimov's three laws of robotics to /Westworld/;
- the philosophical dimension of fictional reflection on AI: the problem of freedom, consciousness, agentivity, autonomy;
- - AI as a way of questioning the question of minorities, the topic of vulnerability, the frontiers of the human, the frontier of gender, the frontier of species.
The conference will take place at the Maison de la recherche of the University of Paris 3 - Sorbonne nouvelle, Maison de la recherche, 3 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris, from 3 to 5 June 2021.
Proposals in English or French (1 page + 1 short bio-bibliography) should be sent to email@example.com before 30 September 2020
Conference organized by Alexandre Gefen ((CNRS/Paris 3) with Marida di Crosta (Marge, Université de Lyon III), Ksenia Ermoshina (CNRS, Centre Internet et Société), Béatrice Joyeux-Prunel (University of Geneva), Léa-Saint-Raymond (ENS).