Call for Chapters for New Elsevier book

We are delighted to launch the call for chapters for “Ethics in Online AI-Based Systems: Risks and Opportunities in Current Technological Trends“, a new book for the Elsevier Book Series “Intelligent Data Centric Systems”.

Scope

During the last decades, new technological advancements, and particularly online environments that integrate Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies, have deeply transformed society and the way people interact with each other. Among many other benefits, instantaneous communication platforms have allowed to connect with other people and form communities around the globe, the amount of digitalized data available has created unprecedented opportunities in many sectors, and online learning platforms have made access to educational resources more ubiquitous by reducing the limitations imposed by geographical and temporal constrains. However, and as it has been reported in some sectors where AI-driven technologies have already been deployed and intensively used for some time, automatic decision-making processes many times bear unexpected outcomes. For instance, machine learning (ML) based systems have been reported to discriminate against certain social communities in the context of law courts, job applications or bank loans due to the use of biased datasets to feed the ML models. Different studies conclude that, in order to avoid unforeseen outcomes in their integration, the ethical dimension of deploying AI in different settings must be taken into account.

However, and although it is pretty well-known that technological advancements bear ethically-relevant consequences with their deployment, legislations often lag behind those advancements. Because the appearance and deployment of these technologies happen much faster than legislative procedures, the way these technologies affect social interactions have profound ethical effects before any legislative regulation can be built in order to prevent and mitigate those effects. Furthermore, the combination of independent technological tools often affects those interactions in other ways; in cases where those new and emergent dynamics bear negative ethical consequences, this often leads to the need to apply hasty ad hoc legislative solutions that might not be enough.

On the other side, however, new interactions can often bear important positive ethical effects, such as providing a better ground towards a more equitable, inclusive and plural society by opening up public political participatory processes, or by mitigating and eliminating boundaries in online learning environments, to name a few. Being able to identify those ethically-desirable opportunities beforehand in order to harness their benefits can allow new technological artifacts to have profound and positive world-changing effects for both global and individual benefit. Therefore, foreseeing potential ethical risks and opportunities that upcoming technological advances can bear with them is paramount both in order to prevent and mitigate potential negative ethical effects, as well as to identify and harness potential positive ethical effects that those technologies can bring about.

Driven by these motivations, this book aims to ask, as well as point to tentatively answer, some of the main ethically-relevant questions associated to upcoming future technologies in different online AI-based areas where upcoming advancements can potentially have a profound impact –such as social interactions, services, education, and citizen participation. In this sense, this book aims to foster ethical reflection before new upcoming technological advancements are deployed; this could be valuable not only to foresee potential risks, but also to identify and incorporate ethically-desirable features right from the beginning. In order to do so, this book will feature different sections devoted to some central areas in which online technologies based on AI and Intelligent Data-Centric Systems are being developed and advanced. Within those sections, each chapter will look at a specific field where such technology is applied, and will aim to answer the questions:

  1. What are the current trends and upcoming advances in this field?
  2. What are the potential detrimental ethical risks that the currently upcoming technological advancements could bring to this area?
  3. What are the potential beneficial ethical opportunities that the currently upcoming technological advancements could bring to this area?
  4. What tentative measures can be taken in the design, implementation, and deployment of such technologies in order to prevent and mitigate potential ethical risks, as well as to exploit and harness potential ethical opportunities?

Some of the areas that could be of particular interest for these kinds of reflections are the ones listed above (but not necessarily limited to those):

  • Ethics of upcoming innovations in online social relations, including:
    • Personal social life
    • Professional social networks
    • Companionship and support networks
    • Expanded reality (XR), including metaverses / AR / VR.
  • Ethics of upcoming innovations in online services, including:
    • Remote and de-centralized work
    • eHealth
    • Commerce and finances
    • Dialogue systems
  • Ethics of upcoming innovations in online education, including:
    • Learning analytics
    • Student profiling
    • Online assessment
    • Collaborative learning in remote environments
    • Gamification and game-based learning
  • Ethics of upcoming citizen-driven and citizenship innovations, including:
    • Political activism and social protests
    • Law enforcement, security and surveillance
    • Smart environments and smart cities

This book aims to explore the potential ethical risks and challenges that the upcoming advances in state-of-the-art technology could bring about. This exploration is expected to inform both about the potential detrimental consequences that should be avoided and mitigated beforehand, as well as the potential opportunities for ethical benefit that the right design and deployment of new AI-based technology can offer.

Important dates

  • 2-5 page chapter proposal deadline: June 5, 2022 (extended)
  • Notification of proposal acceptance/rejection: June 17, 2022
  • Full chapters submission deadline: July 31, 2022
  • Notification of final acceptance/rejection: October 31, 2022
  • Camera-ready submission deadline: December 15, 2022

Editors

  • Dr. Joan Casas-Roma
  • Prof. Santi Caballe
  • Dr. Jordi Conesa

Submission Procedure & Guidelines

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on, or before June 5, 2022, a 2-5 page chapter proposal (Word or PDF) explaining the scope and the expected structure and content of the proposed chapter. All submitted chapter proposals will be reviewed by the editors of the book.

Inquiries and submissions can be forwarded by e-mail to Dr. Joan Casas-Roma (jcasasrom@uoc.edu).

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