Diffracting AI and Robotics. Feminist and Decolonial Perspectives — Symposium

“If humans could be rendered sub- or inhuman, then machines by the same logic could be rendered sentient, human, raced”

Louis Chude-Sokei — Black Technopoetics

In a striking way, at the very moment intelligent machines are supposed to become a reality, the question what it means to be human and what sociality entails seems to become the focal point in the call for a ‘human centered’ robotics and AI. While recent research more and more demonstrates that robotics and AI often perpetuate gender and racial biases along with social power relations, the question arises how bias and interests built into robots and programmed into AI, both intentionally and unintentionally, can be identified and deprogrammed. Engaging with these questions, decolonializing, feminist, queer, crip and other critical scholars have emphasized the need for a more just and inclusive future of AI and robotics. The aim of this symposium is to bring together scholars from different fields of study, opening up the space for truly multidisciplinary engagements with AI promising to provide us with points of departure for relating responsibility, accountability, and social justice as well as ‘our’ history, present, and future with AI differently. In doing so, the symposium will not only emphasize the crucial need for including manifold perspectives and reflecting on who is allowed to be part of these discussions and developments, but also aim at opening up the space for concrete interventions. 

I co-organized the Symposium and the Workshop with Josef Barla and Pat Treusch and was held in Goethe University in Frankfurt from 11th to the 12th October 2019.

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