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Call for Abstracts – The Philosophy of Digital Images: Data, Dank Memes and Deep fakes

University of Liverpool, 9-10 June 2022

Digital technology has had an enormous impact upon image production and reception. New kinds of images, including memes, deep fakes and artworks produced with Artificial Intelligence (AI), have opened up a range of possibilities and opportunities, some of which are positive and others not. Meme culture, for instance, can serve as a creative, collective cultural practice, but can also serve as a means to radicalise and spread misinformation. Deep fakes can bring benefits such as the creation of convincing representations of lost subjects to enhance a sense of contact with them, but they are frequently produced for ethically dubious ends, such as the production of pornographic content made without the consent of the parties depicted. The use of AI to generate novel images might advance the accessibility of visual art practice and the capabilities of those working in it, however, it raises questions about who counts as creative, and who bears ethical responsibility for those images.

The aim of this conference is to philosophically examine the benefits and risks posed by these new images, and explore the complicated intersections between the aesthetic, ethical, and epistemic issues that arise from making and interacting with digital images. Invited speakers include: Heather Widdows (University of Birmingham), Fiona MacCallum (University of Warwick), Alex Barber (The Open University), and Alice Helliwell (New College of the Humanities/University of Kent).

We invite scholars producing philosophical work on digital images to submit a 250 word abstract of a paper for presentation at the conference. Please include your name, affiliation, and contact details with your submission. Presentations will be between 20-25 minutes long, to allow 15-20 minutes discussion time. Please send your abstract to claire.anscomb[at]liverpool.ac.uk. The deadline for submissions of abstracts is 15 March 2022. We aim to inform you of the outcome by the beginning of April.

Early career scholars and those from underrepresented groups are particularly encouraged to apply. We aim to make the conference accessible in light of the BPA/SWIP guidelines for accessible conferences. There will be no registration fee for the conference and early career scholars who have papers accepted for presentation will be directed towards sources of funding to apply for in order to cover travel and accommodation costs. Further updates will be made available at: https://pdiconference.wordpress.com/

This conference has been made possible by the generous support of the The Mind Association and the University of Liverpool Philosophy Department.

Organisers: Claire Anscomb and Vid Simoniti