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How we avoid insight from others
Author: Mikael Klintman

Why do people and groups ignore, deny and resist knowledge about society’s many problems? In a world of ‘alternative facts’, ‘fake news’, and ‘fact resistance’ that some believe could be remedied by ‘factfulness’ or ‘enlightenment’, the question has never been more pressing. Following years of ideologically polarised debates on this topic, the book seeks to further advance our understanding of the phenomenon of knowledge resistance by integrating insights from the social, economic, and evolutionary sciences. In current debates and studies, several vital factors are downplayed: that all people and institutions – even science – occasionally resist knowledge while calling their resistance ‘scepticism’, that knowledge resistance is not always irrational, that facts don’t equal truth, and that knowledge claims continuously need to be re-evaluated. Ignoring such key factors undermines the chances of reducing problematic knowledge resistance. Examples used in the book include controversies over climate change, the roots of violence, gender roles, religion, child-rearing, vaccination, genetically modified food, and artificial intelligence. In addition to accessible discussion of the scholarly literature and media sources, in-depth interviews with other renowned human scientists in the UK about their perspectives on knowledge resistance contribute to understanding this intriguing phenomenon. Moreover, the author shares his personal experiences of cultural clashes between different knowledge claims. The book is written for the educated public, students, and scholars interested in how people and groups handle knowledge controversies, and how such disputes can be resolved in the service of better managing the urgent social, environmental, and health-related problems of today.

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Self-Driving Cars in Cinematic Imaginaries
Sonia Campanini

Self-driving cars have long been depicted in cinematic narratives, across genres from science fiction films to fantasy films. In some cases, a self-driving car is personified as one of the main characters. This article examines cinematic representations and imaginaries in order to understand the development of the self-driving technology and its integration in contemporary societies, drawing on examples such as The Love Bug, Knight Rider, Minority Report and I, Robot. Conceptually and methodologically, the article combines close readings of films with technological concerns and theoretical considerations, in an attempt to grasp the entanglement of cinematographic imaginaries, audiovisual technologies, artificial intelligence and human interactions that characterise the introduction of self-driving cars in contemporary societies. The human–AI machine interaction is considered both on technological and theoretical levels. Issues of automation, agency and disengagement are traced in cinematic representations and tackled, calling into question the concepts of socio-technical assemblage.

Film Studies
Open Access (free)
Philosophical and ethical challenges
David Lawrence

7 Robotic intelligence: philosophical and ethical challenges1 David Lawrence This chapter focuses on one field of scientific research (or rather a collection of many subfields) which has the potential to bring about epochal changes of a magnitude not seen since humankind’s first forays into tool use – our first steps into differentiating ourselves from other animals. Artificial intelligence (AI) – along with advanced robotics – promises significant effects for our way of life, of working, and of interacting with others. It may even bring about the first time we

in The freedom of scientific research
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

permanently enrolled in prototyping the technologies that govern them ( Duffield, 2018 ). Eliminating Professionals From the outset, the aim of cybernetics was to exclude human beliefs, motivations and intentions from the development of the human–machine interface ( Halpern, 2014 ). Now a defining feature of late-modernity, this exclusion shaped early computer programming. Politically, it found a reflection in the counter-cultural anticipation of artificial intelligence as a means of undermining the professional hierarchies of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Ian Aitken

explored, and key concepts drawn from Kant, Hegel, Bradley, Husserl, Bergson and others, then applied to both films and film theory. The question of realism and the cinema also impinges upon other disciplines, including history, the philosophy and psychology of perception, gender theory, linguistics, phenomenology, information science, ethnography, artificial intelligence theory and branches of cognitivist research. All of these are

in Realist film theory and cinema
Open Access (free)
Theatre and the politics of engagement
Author: Simon Parry

This book is about science in theatre and performance. It explores how theatre and performance engage with emerging scientific themes from artificial intelligence to genetics and climate change. The book covers a wide range of performance forms from the spectacle of the Paralympics Opening Ceremony to Broadway musicals, from experimental contemporary performance and opera to educational theatre, Somali poetic drama and grime videos. It features work by pioneering companies including Gob Squad, Headlong Theatre and Theatre of Debate as well as offering fresh analysis of global blockbusters such as Wicked and Urinetown. The book offers detailed description and analysis of theatre and performance practices as well as broader commentary on the politics of theatre as public engagement with science. It documents important examples of collaborative practice with extended discussion of the Theatre of Debate process developed by Y Touring theatre company, exploration of bilingual theatre-making in East London and an account of how grime MCs and dermatologists ended up making a film together in Birmingham. The interdisciplinary approach draws on contemporary research in theatre and performance studies in combination with key ideas from science studies. It shows how theatre can offer important perspectives on what the philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called ‘cosmopolitics’. The book argues that theatre can flatten knowledge hierarchies and hold together different ways of knowing.

Marcos P. Dias

-key access locks’ (Mitchell, 2003 : 201). Third, it reconfigures how we participate in the city as it increasingly becomes the domain of machines that not only respond to human input, but also sense and interpret the reality of everyday life autonomously. The machine as artist One of the outcomes of the reconfiguration of participation in the city through machine sentience is the potential for machines mediated through computer code and artificial intelligence to replace – or to collaborate with – human beings as artists. As Steyerl ( 2017 : 47) points out

in The machinic city
Hugh Whitemore’s Pack of Lies, Concealed Enemies and Breaking the Code
Jonathan Bolton

artificial intelligence raised the possibility that a machine could potentially integrate logic and feeling in such a way that it could make infallible moral and ethical determinations, thereby surpassing the human propensity to codify and enforce cruel laws regulating human sexual behavior. Breaking the Code opened at a time when the gay community's path to social acceptance and political justice was severely threatened by the fears and prejudices aroused by the AIDS scare of the mid-1980s, and the play offers a tragic depiction

in The Blunt Affair
Bridging the gap between science and society

Never have the scope and limits of scientific freedom been more important or more under attack. New science, from artificial intelligence to genomic manipulation, creates unique opportunities to make the world a better place. But it also presents unprecedented dangers, which many believe threaten the survival of humanity and the planet. This collection, by an international and multidisciplinary group of leading thinkers, addresses three vital questions: (1) How are scientific developments impacting on human life and on the structure of societies? (2) How is science regulated, and how should it be regulated? (3) Are there ethical boundaries to scientific developments in some sensitive areas (e.g. robotic intelligence, biosecurity)? The contributors are drawn from many disciplines, and approach the issues in diverse ways to secure the widest representation of the many interests engaged. They include some of the most distinguished academics working in this field, as well as young scholars.

Gob Squad, a funny robot and dancing scientists
Simon Parry

and then with external opportunities. In this case, interests in robotics, science fiction and artificial intelligence came together with Ovid’s Pygmalion story, a desire to explore relationships with objects and an urge to make opera. This unlikely combination articulated with a funding opportunity presented by the German government’s Doppelpass fund for cooperation between smaller experimental touring theatre companies and larger established building-based theatre institutions.2 The funding meant that Gob Squad could collaborate over the two-year period with a

in Science in performance