In September 2020, we launched The Palgrave Macmillan Lecture Series to mark 20 years since Palgrave Macmillan revived the Palgrave name, continuing a long Macmillan tradition of publishing leading thinkers in the humanities and social sciences.
This year, our lecture Humanities, Social Sciences and Artificial Intelligence , explores the global influence of AI, with Kathleen Richardson, Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI, De Montfort University, Leicester UK and Editor of Palgrave's Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI book series.
- Hear from eminent speakers on one of the most pertinent topics of our time
- Ask your burning questions about the how the humanities and social sciences can help shape the future of AI
- Understand AI in the publishing context and how Palgrave Macmillan, as part of Springer Nature, is staying up to date with new technology
Welcome from the Chair
Vicky Peters, Editorial Director, Humanities (History, Philosophy, Religion), Palgrave Macmillan
AI and Springer Nature
Palgrave (part of Springer Nature) is at the forefront of AI applications in publishing. We published the first AI-authored academic book on Lithium Ion Batteries in 2018, and by the end of 2023, this will extend to nearly 50 AI-assisted titles. Our AI-driven author services streamline the academic writing process through automatic literature assessments. Moreover, we lead discussions on AI and ethics, emphasizing its responsible use. We envision AI as a tool to democratize access to science, foster transparency, and enhance collaborations. Here, we prioritize a human-centered approach, viewing AI as a means, not the end. We are committed to leveraging AI to optimize publishing and enhance content dissemination for both authors and publishers. The talk seeks to describe more about SN’s innovative AI applications in the realm of publishing.
Anil Chandy, Vice President, HSS (Books) and Focus Projects, Springer Nature
Keynote - From AI to Robots: Representational Technologies of the Human
In the early 2000s when I began my doctoral studies in social anthropology studying robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI) there were only a handful of social scientists and humanities scholars writing on these topics.This began to change by the end of the decade. AI was no longer in one of its "winters" (from the 1970s-1980s and 1980s to early 1990s) but rose again (metaphorically speaking), this time with machine learning at the helm. Moreover, anthropomorphic robots were reimagined, not as the ‘workers’ of the past: but as friends, therapists, sexual objects, and companions. Robots and AI are among various technologies which I call Representational Technologies of the Human. These are technologies that are designed to mimic us, echoing back to us the way we look, behave and feel. The widespread perception that fictional robots and AI were becoming real also drove public interest in the fields, leading to more funding and political attention. Today the importance of ethics has come to the fore with attempts to avoid catastrophes that could result from the overreach of these technologies.
Recognising the importance of these cultural shifts, I worked with editors at Palgrave Social Sciences to develop the Social and Cultural Studies of Robots and AI book series. To date we have published books on sex robots, therapeutic robots, cyborgs, AI, magic and robots and war and militarism. Drawing over two decades of experience as an anthropologist and ethicist, this talk will explore these themes.
Kathleen Richardson, Professor of Ethics and Culture of Robots and AI, De Montfort University, Leicester UK
AI and book publishing at Palgrave Macmillan
Two of our commissioning editors will speak about how they publish, and work with their authors, on humanities-based approaches to AI (and tech more broadly), within their disciplines of philosophy and sound studies. Robin James will discuss how backlist and forthcoming titles in our music, sound, and communication list use representations of technology to reflect critically on fundamental social issues like racism and sexism, on the one hand, as well as study the negative and positive impacts of automation, platformization, and AI across art, literature and media more broadly. Amy Invernizzi will discuss the role philosophy, and in particular ethics, plays in providing the theoretical background for questions relating to technology and AI. She will discuss the important role that humanities and social science publishing plays in the future landscape of technology research, and will highlight backlist and forthcoming projects in our philosophy and religion program which speak to these points.
Robin James, Ph.D., Editor for Philosophy, Communication and Music/Sound Studies Palgrave Macmillan and Amy Invernizzi, Editor, Philosophy and Religion, Palgrave New York
Our previous lectures have explored the question: How can the Humanities and Social Sciences contribute to the Peace Agenda?; delved into the theme of social justice in the humanities and social sciences and introduced the series by sharing Palgrave Macmillan's history and the place of the academic book in our contemporary media and information landscape.