CALL FOR PAPERS: Artificial Intelligence in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice: Ethics and Aesthetics
Given the pace of technological development, it can be difficult to track how artificial intelligence is currently shaping creative practice. AI systems are produced and refined at unprecedented rates, with the mass adoption of large language models such as ChatGPT putting pressure on policymakers and technologists to try and curb the impacts that these tools will have upon society. While the challenge of finely predicting AI’s cultural impact still remains, we can readily identify a number of differing viewpoints on AI as an emerging cultural presence. Some of these are positive, with artists developing new works, approaches and techniques that utilise AI. Others are less so, as there is a growing range of legitimate artistic concerns around the technology, particularly from environmental, ethical, economic, philosophical and practical perspectives. Given the diverse spread of opinion here, we want to use this issue to platform a variety of different stances that emerge across this spectrum. We wish to foreground both theoretical and practical work that is helping to lead us to a better understanding of this condition.
We are interested in this topic from ethical and aesthetic standpoints. There is already a rich discourse around the ethics of AI in society and culture, and we are particularly interested in reading the work of researchers who explore these ideas with specific relation to interdisciplinary creative practice. As AI systems are set to work in human life, making autonomous decisions about changes that can be made to their environment, it is important to ask whose values and interests these tools represent. How can we encourage an AI-inflected arts culture that supports the values of artists and audiences, rather than those of policymakers, technologists and commerce? Moreover, from an aesthetic perspective, what creative opportunities are made possible by these systems? Can we understand artistic adoptions of AI as leading towards an influx of new creative ideas, practices, works, scenes, institutions and cultures, or are we more likely to encounter a combinatorial rehashing of things that we already know? Is there a new aesthetic push to be made? In this regard, we are much more interested in foregrounding the generative (or destructive) aesthetic features of AI systems, as opposed to simply documenting new technological approaches or proofs of concept.
Given the exploratory nature of the call, we remain open to a wide range of approaches and suggestions. We wish to read work that surprises us, as well as pieces that attempt to answer the following questions:
- How is AI different to artists and technologists?
- Where is the threshold between human and computational creativity?
- In what ways are pre-trained models functionally derivative? What is the difference between copying and taking influence?
- How ‘in the loop’ do humans have to be for AI systems to produce novel creative output? Where do these boundaries emerge between the roles of software and artist?
- What economic arguments can be made for or against AI-driven content creation? When do we worry about computers stealing jobs from artists and designers?
- What, if any, are the general aesthetic features of AI in creative practice?
- How does AI relate to artistic social life: to collaboration, scene and institution?
- What are the differences between collaborating with humans and machines?
- What affordances – practical, social, theoretical, material – does AI open up or elide?
- Why are these debates so often focused on visual culture (text and image)?
- What different conceptions of ‘ethics’ (e.g. work ethics, legal ethics, moral frameworks, etc.) are needed to write cogently around this debate?
- To what extent can artists use AI to propagate their own values, as opposed to those of technologists and policymakers?
- Does art occur in perception, computation or material?
- With technical practice developing so quickly, how can theory keep track?
To be considered for this issue, please submit an abstract of 300 words along with author name(s), institutional affiliations, and contact details by 31 March 2024.
Dr Jack Walker, PhD in Creative Music Practice, University of Edinburgh
Dr Eleni-Ira Panourgia, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf
Dr Katerina Talianni, Teaching Fellow in Performative and Digital Arts, University of the Peloponnese
For general enquiries about the call please contact email@example.com
This call for papers was published on 15 January 2024Read more about CALL FOR PAPERS: Artificial Intelligence in Interdisciplinary Creative Practice: Ethics and Aesthetics