[Fis] New Perspectives

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Tue Jun 11 13:05:24 CEST 2019

Dear FIS Colleagues,

A few days ago took place the IS4SI Meeting, in SFco, with one of the 
parallel sessions devoted to FIS and other sessions also with presence 
of veteran parties of this list. Relevant speakers in the plenary 
sessions covered the main topic of the conference, expressed as: Where 
is the I in Artificial Intelligence and the Meaning in Information? From 
Tristan Harris to Melanie Mitchell, to Paul Verschure, etc.

In my view the perspectives in these IT fields are changing 
significantly. The tremendous hype in AI, Deep Learning, IOT, etc. keeps 
unabated, but critical voices are being heard, not just from a few 
Academia corners as usual, but now by leading technologists and 
researchers of big companies in these very fields. "Dissent" on the 
contents, methodologies, and consequences of social applications is growing.

The industrial development of this IT sector --notwithstanding the 
inflated proclamations and all the hype of the gurus-- does not mean the 
arrival of some great singularity, or the symbiosis with machines, or 
widespread menace of robots & cyborgs... these are slogans coming from 
the industrialists to maintain social/ideological preeminence for their 
whole sector. Rather I think they are starting to feel the consequences 
of their social overstretching in different ways.

The fundamental point, in my opinion, is that our solitary, isolated 
efforts from a few Academia places (Sciences & Humanities) in the quest 
for new perspectives in Information Science, and not just AI 
development, should not isolated any more. We can now establish an 
interesting dialog and partnership with those new "dissenters" of the 
technology in its concepts, methods, and social applications. It is upon 
us to improve the discussion procedures, the collaborations, the 
organization, etc. so that this opportunity might materialize 
progressively. Do not ask me how... In any case I pointed out three 
future directions for IS4SI advancement: community building, attracting 
scientific/technological avantgarde, and organizational improvement.

Revitalizing this discussion list--shouldn't it be one of the first steps?

Best greetings to all,


Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group

pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

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