Cross-disciplinary Research on Effectual Anticipation
Since August 2018, Luis de Miranda is leading at ORU a strategic research rapprochement between the Humanities/Social Sciences and the Artificial Intelligence/Robotics faculties, the fruits of which are already visible for example in a major interdisciplinary international conference, funded by Vetenskapsrådet, mobilising ten world-leading specialists, to happen in June 2019: “Anticipation and Anticipatory Systems: Humans Meet Artificial Intelligence”. Luis and Prof. Alessandro Saffiotti have initiated the CREA hub to foster “Cross-Disciplinary Research in Effectual Anticipation.” The emerging vibrant field of Anticipation Studies has been chosen as the theoretical key to favour such interdisciplinarity.
Anticipation is a key concept both in human studies and in computer science. It is a rich notion that includes cognitive, existential, historical and cultural aspects, active across a wide range of contexts: it does concern both human expectations and artificial predictive systems, now intertwined in our digital societies. Anticipation Studies are a timely lens into our current techno-social era, allowing for a cross-fertilization of ideas, theoretical and practical models and collaborations. Luis de Miranda is orchestrating a dialogue not only between researchers at Örebro University — for example Prof. Lars Karlsson (Artificial Intelligence) and Prof Mats Deutschmann (Sociolinguistics) — but also at a national and international level, with already twenty world-leading scholars having accepted to visit Örebro in 2019 to work with CREA.
A long-term research plan is currently being devised and prepared by Luis de Miranda and his internal and external network, in order not only to study and anticipate the social and human consequences of the current AI and robotics explosion, but also to map and develop more pluralistic and human-centered models concretely applicable to digital social and research contexts. Luis de Miranda’s concept of “anthrobotic” systems, proposed in 2016 in a paper he co-authored with two leading computer scientists at the University of Edinburgh, has already been impactful via interviews solicited and published by mainstream international press, such as Robohub and Futurism.
The new field of AI-Humanities is strategically connected to Örebro University’s vision as a Knowledge- and Bildung-oriented environment favouring humane and sustainable technologies and practices in which the society of tomorrow is thought and anticipated. Luis has also established in the last months a dialogue with Unesco, in collaboration with its Chair in Anticipatory Systems and its educational Futures Literacy program.