Digitally mediated experiences – Interactions, knowledge forms, and ethical dilemmas

Moderators: Gabriel Marian Hâncean, Cosima Rughiniș, Constantin Vică

Laura Grünberg

Title: Gender, bodies and technology

Abstract: Following Shilling’s concept of “technological body”,  the presentation will critically reflect on the impact of scientific and technological discourses and practices on women’ s bodies, with a special focus on new  artificial reproductive technologies perceived as practices both against and contrary to nature.  When reproduction is cleaved off from sexual relations and the ‘normal’ pregnancy becomes profoundly technologically mediated, monitored, politicized, the concept of gender in general and (women’s ) bodies in particular  also undergo  significant redefinition and change that create reasons for a mixture of hopes and anxieties.

 Marian-Gabriel Hâncean

Title: How statistical software packages shape social data manipulation. Visual statistics and social network analysis

Abstract: Traditionally, in social network analysis, visualizations have been solely used for illustrative purposes (data description). Recently, owing to the technological innovations (development of software packages), visualizations extended their functionality as tools for data collection and analysis. The first section of the presentation introduces the historical development of graph images in the field of social network analysis. The second part discusses how visual displays are used in both exploratory research and confirmatory analysis. The last part of the presentation illustrates through an example the multi-functional nature of visual images for social research projects. Specifically, data on the personal collaboration networks of Romanian, Polish and Slovenian sociologists are visually deployed both at individual and population levels. Additionally, references to visual summarization techniques and related software packages are brought forward.

Toni Gibea

Title: On the use of smart-drugs in e-sports

Abstract: The objective of the presentation is to show why prohibiting the use of performance enhancing drugs (smart-drugs) in e-sports might not be the most safe and fair option. I will show how the debate on performance enhancing drugs (PED) in e-sports is different than the usual one in physical sports and how normative arguments work in the context of e-sports.

Ștefania Matei

Title: Dead people as moral agents. How digital technologies of commemoration change the way we die?

Abstract: Technologies play an intriguing role in defining and redefining what it means to be human. Moreover, technologies modulate our understanding of the self while mediating our experience of the world and others. Through technologies, we become present in the world not only antehumously, but also posthumously. Based on this consideration, I illustrate how technologies extend human capabilities and actions beyond death. Therefore, I claim that new forms of afterlife are accomplished through digital media of commemoration. In this context, I discuss how actual practices of memorialization and mourning are socio-technically organized to construct dead people as moral agents.

 Cosima Rughiniș

Title: Impromptu crowd science: a form of digitally mediated, methodical knowledge

Abstract: There is a rich variety of platforms for eliciting, organizing and centralizing lay knowledge on various topics, from wikis to Q&A platforms, forums and search engines. I discuss two forms of methodical knowledge produced in such digital settings with little, if any involvement of academic practitioners: the discussion of Bechel-Wallace test results, and the TVtropes.org platform. I argue that these two forms of distributed, empirically-grounded reflection may support alternative forms of examining gender and age as social institutions, outside academic settings.

Romina Surugiu, Luminița Roșca

Title: Alternative digital media. Social motivation, professional identity & journalists’ subjectivity

Abstract: The paper will focus on the construction of social motivation, journalists’ identity and subjectivity in the context of working for alternative digital media. Using empirical research (questionnaires and non-structured interviews) within the theoretical framework of media studies and new technologies, we will investigate how digital journalists position themselves in the context of new media, and in the context of the associated shake-up of traditional media institutions. The research will also try to sketch a profile of young digital journalists in the context of the social and institutional change brought by new ways of communication.

Radu Uszkai, Emanuel Socaciu

Title: Why types of immersion matter. The curious case of MMORPGs as (potential) experience machines

Abstract: There seems to be a widespread worry in both academic literature and media coverage that current VR technologies are experience machines of the sort stipulated by Nozick in his famous thought experiment. The main thrust of our argument would be to show that such a worry is not warranted, at least when it comes to current MMORPGs.

Constantin Vică

Title: Hegel, Labor, and the Robots. Why the vanishing of labor is the end of humanity

Abstract: The last years brought to the front the question of robots and automation and their connection with the disappearance of human labor. This issue was framed mainly in economic terms, leaving aside the ethical and philosophical aspects. I will focus on the philosophical part of the problem, which has to assess the critical change a world without labor would bring about. More precisely, I will inquire the the disappearance of the socially, autonomous self-conscious human, a generic man not just superfluous from the Nature – Machine relationship point of view, but also lacking the possibility to construe and experience his world.

Cristina Voinea, Emilian Mihailov

Title: Morality enhancing apps

Abstract: In the last decade the boom in the development of apps for mobile technology has tackled a wide variety of practical issues from smoking cessation, health and environmental monitoring, to education and entertainment. These apps are created for various purposes such as persuasion, guiding decision making and facilitating access to information. Not surprisingly, giving their potential, some have been developed to inform and improve ethical decision making. Our aim is to identify and classify types of morally enhancing apps and to critically asses the values informing their design.

Location: Sala 8 – Tudor Vianu, Centrul de Cercetare in Etica Aplicata, Facultatea de Filosofie, Splaiul Independentei 204

Full workshop agenda available here.

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