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Call for Papers: Conference "Narrating Emotional Closeness between Humans and Machines in Japanese (Popular) Culture and Literature", 14-15 October 2022

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 714666).

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 714666).

EMTECH announces its third international conference (to be held online on October 14–15, 2022).

News from Mar 15, 2022

Call for Papers

Narrating Emotional Closeness between Humans and Machines in Japanese (Popular) Culture and Literature

International Conference, Online, 14-15 October 2022

 

Event Date: 14-15 October 2022

Abstract Submission Date: 15 April 2022

Location: Online

Keywords: Japanese literature, Japanese popular culture, human-robot relations, Robots, Japanese Culture, Japanese studies, Science fiction, Affect Studies, Emotions, Emotions Studies

The conference is conducted as part of the ERC project “Emotional Machines: The Technological Transformation of Intimacy in Japan (EMTECH)”. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No. 714666).

Description

Cultural and literary narratives on human–machine interaction reflect the wishes and fears of humankind faced with rapid and paradigm-shifting technological advances. Particularly in light of the development of so-called artificial emotional intelligence, they address the question as to what future role humans will have in this interaction and what will remain uniquely and irreducibly human. As such narratives have always done before, they will in turn feed back into future technological development and, by doing so, influence the eventual outward appearance and purpose of machines built by roboticists, but also whether those machines will be perceived as friendly or threatening by society.

In recent years, narratives in Japanese (popular) culture and literature have made it clear that people envision machines based on new expectations of them. Now, machines are expected to meet the emotional needs of humans. The intimacy between humans and emotionally intelligent machines or robots already plays an important role in everyday life in present-day Japan. Also, close relationships between humans and machines, in various forms, have become a common trope in fiction. Human–machine relationships in fictional forms provide a way of imagining the future coexistence of humans and machines. The major focus in such narratives is on issues surrounding emotions: the capacity to form attachments, opportunities for relationships, and obstacles to forming relationships between humans and machines.

Little research has been conducted on the individual and social consequences of human–machine relationships, whether in real-life or in narrative forms. In the forthcoming conference, we will therefore investigate narratives on human–machine relationships in literature as well as in media such as anime, manga, computer games, films, and plays. The conference organizers, therefore, invite proposals for presentations dealing with one or more of the following topics:

  • Models of human–machine interaction in Japanese (popular) culture and literature
  • Forms of closeness between humans and machines in Japanese (popular) culture and science fiction
  • Attachment and intimacy towards machines
  • Emotions in human–machine interaction
  • Narratives on soul and consciousness of machines
  • New forms of bonding and their influence on individuals and (traditional) social structures
  • Narratives on new forms of artificial intelligence
  • Utopian and dystopian visions of human–machine interaction
  • Risks and chances of future human–machine interaction
  • Narratives of fears and expectations towards machines

Submission guidelines

Presentations are to be given in English. The organizers plan to publish an edited volume as a result of this conference.

Proposals, including a title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and a short bio, should be submitted to elena.giannoulis@fu-berlin.de by 15 April 2022. For further inquiries, please contact Berthold Frommann at berthold.frommann@fu-berlin.de

Key dates

Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 April 2022
Conference: 14-15 October 2022

Contact

For further inquiries, please contact Berthold Frommann at berthold.frommann@fu-berlin.de

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