Concept Reengineering Needed For Our Hyperconnected Era

IMG_3032 Recently the European Commission has launched the Online Initiative, officially presented the 8th of February in Brussels. I was there, and I want to share same ideas that swarmed around during the lively discussions we had.

It was Robert Madelin, the Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology, who opened the session and revealed a marvellous chair during the whole day: he briefly added a note to the panelists, so to encourage us, the participants, to give our thoughts. The presentation of the Onlife Manifesto was done by Luciano Floridi, who took a little walk on the (wild?) side of the Manifesto, which is a result of a collective work of 13 scholars devoted to Computing & Philosohpy (download it here to have a glance).

IMG_3029The essential metaphor was the estuary, where a river meets the sea: there, we cannot be sure if water is salty or still trinkable: the real world is the sea, while the virtual world is the river. We live more and more in an interactive environment, where the traditional distinctions (e.g., real/virtual, human/machine/nature) do not stand anymore. Take for example 3D printing, or the global videogame market, which is a reification of the virtual. The new imperative is the centrality of interaction: for the Millennials, to be is to be interactable, and if you don’t interact with me, you don’t exist. In sum, the Manifesto is a constructive contribution to rethink us in a hyperconnected world, towards a new InfoEthics. For more information, see Floridi’s slides.

Then, Jean-Gabriel Ganascia gave us highlights on what does hyperconnectivity mean. The hyper- prefix is taken from physics (think about ‘hyperconductivity’), and it is very productive, because it is concerned with hyper-diffusibility (e.g., e-books), hyper-memorisability (e.g., clouding), or even hyper-history, recently introduced by Floridi himselfe, causing a political apoptosis. We are in a phase of transition, and henceforth forced to rethink concepts like policy, politics, democracy and so on.

This passage lead us the the problem of distributed responsibility: we have Multi-Agent Systems, drones, software, robots, and so no, which work in the same environment with humans (remember the estuary!) and pose new challenges. These were the topics addressed by Judith Simon, who argues that the state’s monopoly of power and legitimate violence are now inadequate, and we need knowledge practices for an epistemic dimension of reasoning that takes the ethic values from the start, not appended at the end. So we re-design governance through ICT tools. After her talk, Robert Madelin raised a key question: how can we avoid paternalism?

IMG_3035 Then, it was the turn of the anthropologist: Stefana Broadbent introduced the notion of gray ecology, which is a measure of the pollution brought by digital technologies. In other words, hwo can we reach “clean technologies”, for our mind? Put in other words: how a hyperconnected, relational self, can protect oneself? She gave us as an example the Millennials’ practice of Facebook time: me and my peers know that I will be online in Facebook only one hour, more precisely 12:00-13:00 (lunch time, more or less). Why? Because attention is a scarse resource, and we need to put in charge attention economy strategies.

Peter-Paul Verbeek addressed the blurring of the traditional dichotomy public/private: on one side, we have to reconfigure privacy; on the other side, we have to reconfigure citizenship. The question is: what kind of democracy we will have in an onlife world?

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Now, you can participate directly. First, take a look to the user manual of the Onlife Initiative; then, co-create the vision of Europe 2050, signing up in Futurium.

And don’t forget to follow the official Twitter hashtag #onlifeeu for last news.

Seminario di filosofia dell’informatica presso l’Università dell’Aquila

Settimana prossima sarò a L’Aquila, su invito della collega professoressa Stefania Costantini.

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Il giorno 9 Maggio 2012, presso l’Aula C1.15 dell’edificio di Coppito 2 (Universita’ degli Studi dell’Aquila, sede di Via Vetoio), il Dr. Federico Gobbo dell’Universita’ dell’Insubria terra’ i seguenti seminari, rivolti agli studenti del Dottorato
di Ricerca in Informatica e Applicazioni ed aperti a tutti gli interessati.

Ore 11:30
Epistemologia dell’Informatica

L’incontro parte dalla presentazione delle due matrici che hanno dato fondamento alla disciplina: dal lato filosofico, l’Epistemologia nasce come una branca della filosofia analitica anglo-americana; dal lato informatico, l’Epistemologia eredita alcune tematiche fondamentali dell’Intelligenza Artificiale. Tali matrici si intrecciano di continuo, e non sempre e’ facile orientarsi: nel seminario, verra’ fornita una sorta di mappa concettuale a questo scopo. Particolare attenzione verra’ data al metodo dell’esperimento mentale, dal classico test di Turing – di recente tornato in voga in occasione dell’Alan Turing Year – alla Stanza Cinese di Searle fino a Floridi e Gobbo.

Attualmente le direzioni di ricerca ruotano attorno a due paradigmi di riferimento:
(1) la Filosofia dell’Informazione o Philosophy of Information di Luciano Floridi (Universities of Oxford and Hertfordshire) e collaboratori; (2) la Philosophy of Computing, dove vengono riconsiderati diversi concetti della computazione (e della
computabilita’, tra cui l’uso di diverse logiche non-classiche).

L’incontro verte sulla presentazione e discussione dei due paradigmi, alla luce dei risultati raggiunti e soprattutto di quelli ancora da raggiungere.

Ore 15:00
Etica dell’Informatica

L’etica dell’informatica nasce a meta’ degli anni 1980 con due matrici parallele e indipendenti: il lavoro sul fondamento della Computer Ethics da parte di Deborah Johnson, nato da una riflessione della filosofia morale di stampo utilitaristico e pragmatista, basato induttivamente sul metodo dei casi, e la riflessione sulle implicazioni socio-politiche del modello di produzione del software, da parte della Free Software Foundation e del progetto GNU di Richard Stallman.

A differenza dell’Epistemologia, esistono diverse correnti in Etica dell’Informatica, spesso indipendenti le une dalle altre, che fanno riferimento sostanzialmente al tipo di problema affrontato: oggi non si discute pi´u solo di privacy o proprieta’ intellettuale (il cosiddetto PAPA), ma anche di citizen journalism, blogging, politica 2.0 (e-government), divario digitale, accesso internet e minori, e così via.

L’incontro intende mostrare come molti settori, anche altamente specialistici come per esempio il computer trusting, abbiano risvolti etici spesso non ancora esplorati adeguatamente.

La kanalo pri mia kurso en Hajnano

Iom post iom mi eldonos ĉiun filmeton de la lecionaro pri Filozofio kaj Historio de Informatiko ĉi-tie. Mi malkovris, ke YouTube permesas al mi alŝuti pli altkvalitan version ol tiun en Vimeo kaj Ipernitio. Strange, sed vere. Do, laŭeble elektu ĉi-tiun jutuban kanalon.

Colloque sur l’épistémologie comparée des concepts d’information et de communication dans les disciplines scientifiques

Pour v/info

Colloque sur l’épistémologie comparée des concepts d’information et de communication dans les disciplines scientifiques (EPICIC).
8 avril 2011 à l’Université Jean Moulin, Lyon – France

Auditorium Malraux
Site http://isko-france.asso.fr/epicic/

Entrée gratuite (sans déjeuner)
Entrée avec déjeuner et pauses café : 30€.
Inscription obligatoire dans tous les cas.

Programme
————————
9h. Accueil & Allocution de bienvenue
Pr. Jacques Comby, Vice Président chargé de Recherche, Université de Lyon3.
Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan, MCF-HDR, Université Lyon3

9h30 -11h : Le concept d’information en science de l’information LIS : investigations épistemologiques.
Modérateur: Josip Ciric (Université de Zadar, Croatia)
Thomas Dousa. Doctorant, School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois, (USA).
Documentary Languages and the Demarcation of Information Units in Textual Information.

Birger Hjorland . Professeur Royal School of Information science, Copenhagen, Denmark.
The nature of information science and its core concepts.

Discussion

11h-11h10 Pause café

11h20 – 13h : Information & communication : une approche transdisciplinaire.
Moderator: Tatjana Aparac-Jelusic (Université de Zadar, Croatia)
Bruno Bachimont . Directeur Scientifique à l’Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA) et Directeur de Recherche à l’Université de Technologie de Compiègne (UTC).
Information et communication : phénomènes empiriques mais concepts mal définis.
Soren Brier . Professeur de sémiotique, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark.
The Cybersemiotic approach to a transdisciplinary and evolutionary theory of meaningful information, cognition and communication.

Discussion

1pm – 2 :30pm : Déjeuner

14h30 – 15h30 : Information, communication et connaissance.
Moderator: Fidelia Ibekwe-SanJuan (Université Lyon3)
Luciano Floridi. Chaire UNESCO « Information and Computer Ethics » et professeur, University of Oxford & University of Hertfordshire (UK) .
Perception and Testimony as Data Providers
Discussion

15h50-16h00 Pause café

16h00 – 17h30 : Théorie de pertinence et construction de sens.
Moderator: Colin Schmidt (Université LeMans , France)
Sylvie Leleu-Merviel . Professeur, Université de Lille-Nord de France et Conseiller scientifique auprès du Ministère de la Recherche et de l’Enseignement Supérieur.
Horizon de pertinence dans le processus informationnel

Ira Noveck . Directeur de recherche au laboratoire L2C2, Institut de Sciences Cognitives, CNRS, Lyon.
The interface between sentence meaning and speaker meaning
Discussion

17h30- 18h00 Session plénière : tous les intervenants
Discussions avec le public.

International Conference: The Collective Dimension of Science

FYI:

International Conference: The Collective Dimension of Science

Nancy, France
date: December 8-10th 2011
(http://poincare.univ-nancy2.fr/TheCollectiveDimensionofScience/?contentId=8901)

Keynote speakers

– John Greco (Saint Louis University)
– Philip Kitcher (Columbia University)
– Paul Thagard (University of Waterloo)
– John Woods (University of British Columbia)
– Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (UNED, Madrid)

Program Committee

Anouk Barberousse (IHPST, University Paris 1-ENS), Alvin Goldman (Rutgers), Gerhard Heinzmann (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2), Cyrille Imbert (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2), Johannes Lenhard (University of Bielefeld), Olivier Roy (Ludwig-Maximilians-
Universität München), Roger Pouivet (Archives Poincaré, University Nancy 2), Jan Sprenger (Tilburg University), John Woods (University of British Columbia).

Presentation of the conference

The goal of the conference is to discuss philosophical issues related to the collective aspects of science, especially within computational science and “big science”. While studies within social epistemology already investigate the social dimension of the production and validation of beliefs and knowledge, science is not their core object of study. This conference will be devoted to examining to what extent a too individualistic and resource-insensitive philosophical perspective about scientific practices and the making of scientific knowledge is insufficient and conversely to what extent a focus upon extended and/or social agents is needed. We wish to create fruitful interactions between researchers from different fields or subfields such as philosophy of science, (social) epistemology, epistemic logic, formal epistemology, philosophy of economics, philosophy of logic but also mathematics, computer science or cognitive science (especially distributed cognition).

Though this conference mainly addresses philosophical questions, submissions in history or sociology of science that are clearly connected with some of the research questions will also be considered.

The conference language is English.

A few travel grants will be available for students presenting a paper at the conference. To apply for a travel grant, please send an email to Cyrille.Imbert@univ-nancy2.fr after submitting your abstract and include a CV with description of status and affiliation.

Organizers
– Anouk Barberousse (CNRS, IHPST – University Paris 1 – ENS) 1
– Cyrille Imbert (CNRS, Archives Poincaré – University Nancy 2)

Information about submissions

We invite submissions of extended abstracts. Submissions should take the form of an extended abstract of 1000 words. All submissions must be made electronically through our automatic submission system (see the submission page) by May 30, 2011 at the latest. Papers should be suitable for a presentation of around 30 minutes with a 15 minute question-and-answer session. Decisions will be made by June 30, 2011 and authors notified by the beginning of July. All enquiries about the call for papers should be addressed to Cyrille.Imbert@univ-nancy2.fr.

Questions of interest include, but are not limited to:

– Similarities and differences (definitional, epistemological, etc.) between individual and collective or computer-based scientific knowledge
– Description and analysis of collective and/or computational scientific agents and their capacities
– Role and epistemology of various types of computer (personal computers, giant computers, parallel computers, etc.)
– How is collective scientific work achieved in practice?
– Scientific understanding within collective and computational science
– Role and modalities of scientific communication within collective and computational science
– Transmission and diffusion of scientific results: role of images, formats, summaries, versions of results, etc.
– The epistemology of scientific storage: (open) encyclopedias, public databases, scientific archives, etc.
– Division and distribution of scientific work, modularity of tasks and scientific optimality
– Empiricism, conventionalism and pragmatism at the age of collective and computational science
– Individual and collective scientific rationality
– Tacit knowledge within scientific interactions and practices
– Traditional questions within social epistemology (e.g. expertise, testimony, judgment aggregation, organization of knowledge communities, etc.) applied to science
– Comparative approaches between formal and empirical sciences about the listed topics
– Epistemological issues within “big science” e.g. climate science, explorative biological research programs (HGP, barcoding of life), collective science in high-energy physics, etc.

Dates and Deadlines

– May 30 2011: Abstract submission deadline
– June 30 2011: Notification of acceptance
– November 1 2011: Registration deadline
– December 8-10 2011: Conference

Financial support for the conference is provided by the MSH Lorraine, the Archives Poincaré and the IHPST.

Philosophy of Engineering and Artifact in the Digital Era) international conference

FYI:

CFP – PHEADE 2011
3rd PHEADE (Philosophy of Enginnering and Artifact in the Digital Era) international conference
Bukovina, Romania – October 13-16

The 2011 edition’s theme is:
From Natural to Artifacted. Trends and challenges in/of the philosophy of information in the Knowledge Society

Organizer:
Romanian Society for Philosophy Engineering and Technoethics (ROSPHET/SFRIT)

Partners:
IACAP
Romanian Academy
Indian Institute of Science and Religion
“Stefan cel Mare” University of Suceava – Romania

Objectives of the conference
The Philosophy of Information became one of the most dynamic philosophical approaches of the 21 century, because information “is a much cruder and more fundamental concept than that of knowledge on which philosophers have concentrated so much…” (Michael Dummett, 1993).
The philosophical study of information “evolves out of the analytic movement, but does not seem to belong to it. It attempts to expand the frontier of philosophical research, not by putting together pre-existing topics, and thus reordering the philosophical scenario, but by enclosing new areas of philosophical inquiry – which have been struggling to be recognised and may not yet found room in the traditional philosophical syllabus – and by providing innovative methodologies to address traditional problems from new perspectives” (Luciano Floridi, 2008).
This is why the philosophy of information, as a brand new branch of the philosophical research, “promises to be one of the most exciting and fruitful areas of philosophical research of our time” and to establish a fruitful and full of sense dialogue with the science of information and the theology of information, in the Knowledge Society, just before the Singularity Era.

Submissions of presentations, papers and posters are invited to not exclusively relate to the following tracks:
Information, complexity and semiosis. Debating the nature of information
Philosophy of information vs science and/or theology of information
The information turn in philosophy: trends and challenges (open problems)
Information, intelligence, artifacts (robots). Toward the “robot(ic) sophia”?

Guidelines
Extended abstracts (1000-1200 words) are to be submitted by March 31 2011.
Double-blind review’s result (acceptance/rejection) will be sent until April 31.
Registration no later than June 15.

The conference working language is English.
Accepted papers will be published in the conference’s Proceedings.
Organizers run discussions with several leading publishing houses about an edited title, too – a thematic special selection that will be published as a separate book.
The ROSPHET & the partners will select the best 3 papers, the author(s) of which will be announced and awarded during the Conference Dinner.

Materiali didattici corso di storia e filosofia dell’informatica

Avviso per gli studenti dell’Insubria: tutti i materiali didattici sono disponibili sia qui, sul mio blog, che sulla piattaforma di e-learning d’Ateneo. In particolare, per coloro che intendono proseguire a Gennaio 2011 con le parti su Epistemologia, deontologia e etica dell’informatica, i materiali aggiuntivi vengono messi come risorse su detto corso, raggiungibile sulla piattaforma per gli studenti.

Alcuni articoli che analizzeremo sono già in linea, nonché le istruzioni LaTeX per scrivere l’approfondimento. Chi vuole portarsi avanti, dunque, può farlo.

I corsi di Epistemologia e Storia dell’Informatica sono salvi

Cari amici, nonostante la non esaltante adesione alla petizione salvacorsi proposta dai miei studenti all’ultimo momento mi è stato chiesto di continuare a tenere il corso di Storia dell’Informatica ma soprattutto di tenere per la prima volta il corso di Epistemologia, Deontologia ed Etica dell’Informatica all’Università dell’Insubria.

Ho accettato perché la proposta è con contribuzione. Lo dico perché ritengo che accettare un corso retribuito non sia contro lo spirito della protesta dei precari, ma anzi a favore, visto che quello che noi precari vogliamo e la fine dello sfruttamento.

A breve quindi una pagina per gli studenti del corso di quest’anno, che vale doppio: in pratica i primi tre crediti formativi (dal 27 Ottobre a metà Dicembre) saranno di Storia dell’Informatica, e possono essere seguiti dai studenti triennali di Informatica e di Scienze della Comunicazione; gli altri tre crediti (Gennaio – Febbraio 2011) sono riservati agli studenti della laurea specialistica in informatica e riguarderanno propriamente l’epistemologia, l’etica e la deontologia dell’informatica.

Petizione salvacorsi di storia ed epistemologia dell’informatica

Un mio studente insubre e soprattutto amico, Andrea Gervasini, non ha gradito che tra gli altri numerosi tagli effettuati dall’Università dell’Insubria ci siano i corsi di Storia dell’Informatica e della Comunicazione digitale, di cui sono titolare per il corrente anno accademico 2009-2010, e di Epistemologia, Storia e Deontologia dell’Informatica, di cui sono stato tutor per un po’ di anni, sulla docenza del prof. Gaetano Aurelio Lanzarone, che ha deciso di non tenere più il corso per motivi di salute.

Per questo motivo ha aperto una petizione on line di supporto ai due corsi. Non è ancora troppo tardi, infatti, se si raggiunge un buon numero di firme si può farlo rpesente a chi di dovere e vedere se si possono cambiare le carte in tavola. Ma non c’è molto tempo. Penso che i miei studenti degli anni passati possano prendere in considerazione l’idea di firmarla, questa petizione (naturalmente, possono firmarla anche tutti gli altri).

Il problema è molto semplice: i dané, il ghello, money. Oggi io non ho più un assegno di ricerca, perciò l’unica speranza è che almeno uno dei due corsi, quello di Storia dell’Informatica, mi venga pagato. L’altro rischia di fare una fine peggiore, perché non sta per essere semplicemente disattivato ma proprio cancellato con la applicazione della legge 270 del riordino della didattica. Il che francamente è un peccato, perché l’Insubria era all’avanguardia su questo campo, non essendoci altrove nessun corso di filosofia dell’informatica in Italia, ad oggi.

E sì che l’area di ricerca computing and philosophy a livello internazionale è attivissima, basti vedere l’associazione di riferimento, la IA-CAP!

Insomma, se firmate, studenti o non studenti, a me farebbe molto piacere.