Calling all researchers: ACM FAT*2020

Dear social scientists and philosophers: this is a message for you.

In January 2020 the second ACM Fairness, Accountability and Transparency (ACMFAT*) conference will be held in Barcelona.

This is important for two reasons: it will be the first time this conference is held in Europe, and it will be the first time that contributions are specifically invited from the fields of law, the social sciences and philosophy. The conference is opening up beyond the field of computer science and making space for new communities and new perspectives.

This is a heads-up for researchers who are interested in issues of AI’s impacts on society, in ethics in relation to data-driven decisionmaking and AI, and in how perspectives on  fairness and accountability vary according to geography and to political and economic systems.

Scholars from different fields have been calling for the field of FAT to become more interdisciplinary: see this paper, or this one for views on how the political, the social and the computational intersect around ideas of what can be considered ‘good’ or ‘fair’. Until now FAT* has sought ways to theorise and formalise values that are complex and socially entangled using the apparatus of computer science, and has built a body of work around this. And now we invite the social science, philosophy and law communities to engage with this body of work, to challenge the research and to offer their own perspectives.

So please look out for the CFP: an initial call will be out at the end of April, and a more detailed one later this year. But because tracks for social scientists and philosophers, in particular, have not been part of this conference before, this post is to give warning that the CFP will be coming and that papers will be due in August. Bring us your ideas, your conflicts and your disagreements: the field is open. We need you and your work, so come and participate!

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