Call for Papers: Conference “Technolinguistics: socially situating language in AI systems”, Siegen, May 24-27, 2023, deadline December 1st 2022

Call for papers: ‘Media of Cooperation’ Conference:
Technolinguistics in practice: Socially situating language in AI systems
University of Siegen, | SFB 1187 | Herrengarten 3 | 57072 Siegen |
Date: May 24-27, 2023
Where: University of Siegen
Keynote Speakers: Paul Kockelman (Yale University); Ilana Gershon (Rice University); Morana Alač (University of California, San Diego) and Michael Castelle (University of Warwick)

New language technologies give rise to new technolinguistic practices, demanding a reconsideration of earlier questions and disciplinary commitments concerning the study of language and technology. The field of artificial intelligence (AI) has led to new communicative repertoires and ideologies for imagining, designing and interacting with machines as well as with humans. In the spirit of an ‘ethnography of “cooperation”’ (cf. Hymes 1964) which situates communicative cooperation in the context of a wider community of practice, we are interested in: (1) how the fields of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP) conceptualize and operationalize “language,” by reproducing, regressing to, building on, challenging, updating, or otherwise engaging with the intellectual history of the field and its numerous critics, as well as in (2) how this operationalization transforms or is transformed by the socially-situated engagements between humans and machines in the sociocultural, political or economic contexts in which AI and ML models materialize. We aim to assemble scholars from a variety of fields to document and analyze evolving language and semiotic practices – the constitutive work that constructs “language” itself as a technology of artificial intelligence both within and surrounding AI and ML technologies by researchers, developers or other users.

Contributions can address the following themes (or propose a related one):
● Ethnographic descriptions of practical engagements with NLP/AI systems.
● How sociocultural, political-economic or historical contexts reveal ideologies inscribed in AI/NLP.
● How notions of “language” become taken-for-granted, stabilized, commodified and circulated.
● Reflections on the disciplinary and/or conceptual trends addressing NLP/AI
● The social harms (e.g. race, class, gender) that such language notions help to enact and forms of resistance to them.
● A consideration of “new” vs. “old” communicative practices.
● How actors negotiate autonomy and agency with post-human conceptions of the subject.
● Alternative views on language and communication offering inspiration for new socio-technical

Please submit abstracts of 300 to 500 words, along with a title and a short biography (max. 150 words) by December 1, 2022, to
Organization: Siri Lamoureaux, Evan Donahue, Sarah Bell, David Waldecker, Susanne Förster, Marcus Burkhardt, Yarden Skop

The full CfP can be found here.