Call for Contributions: ECREA Book on AI Infrastructures and Sustainability

Call for Contributions ECREA Book: AI Infrastructures and Sustainability

*Deadline: 29.02.2024

Editors: Anne Mollen, Sigrid Kannengießer, Fieke Jansen, Julia Velkova*

This call for contributions follows an invitation by the *ECREA Open Access Book Series Committee* to develop a proposal for a volume on *“AI Infrastructures and Sustainability”*. The Committee has invited overall three publications to develop full proposals – one of which will be selected as Open Access publication with Palgrave as part of the ECREA book series.*The proposed volume* Amidst the hype around generative AI, critical data studies as well as media and communication research have been exploring the “anatomy of AI” (Crawford & Joler, 2018), showing how technologies of automation, mostly labelled as Artificial Intelligence (AI), foster forms of exploitation in relation to natural resources and the environment, labour and working conditions as well as social injustice. While engineering-oriented fields, such as Machine Learning (ML), approach  intra- and intergenerational justice  under the label of “sustainability” and  “ethics”, the proposed book acknowledges that AI infrastructures cannot be reduced to questions of technology and its design but need to be addressed as sociotechnical issues and relations (Parks et al. 2023; Plantin & Punathambekar, 2019). This edited volume seeks to contribute a comprehensive media and communication research perspective on the socio-ecological relations that emerge from practices of use and development of “AI”, and their far-reaching implications to justice, environments, and infrastructures. The book extends the work of scholars in environmental media and critical data studies that is concerned with the materialities and environmental relations that sustain digital media (Starosielski and Walker 2016; Gabrys 2011; Crawford & Joler, 2018), and calls for developing critical and transformative perspectives. We are looking for contributions that analyze the manifold social processes and related tensions that contribute towards manifesting AI infrastructures, with their underlying ideologies, power dynamics, forms of exploitation, extractivism, inequalities etc., developing alternative critical vocabularies, interventions, and approaches to “sustainability”.

*Call for Contributions*

The proposed volume assembles research in media and communications on AI infrastructures in relation to questions of sustainability. We invite critical theoretical, historical, methodological, and empirical reflections on the “sustainability” of technologies that go under the label of “AI”. Contributions could include analyses of how sustainability, infrastructures or other related notions can be conceptualized in relation to technologies of automation – to deconstruct how AI-related narratives, imaginaries, norms, practices etc. with their ensuing implications manifest in infrastructures of automated communication. We also welcome authors to introduce new concepts that contribute to create more affective, transformative, theoretically nuanced narratives and understandings of how to make liveable relations with AI. Considering the necessity for a great socio-ecological transformation, the proposed volume also encourages reflections on transformative perspectives in media and communication research, addressing media and communication’s role in the shaping and transforming of societies increasingly becoming reliant on technologies of automation.

We are seeking abstracts (250-300 words, excluding references) to be submitted until February, 29 2024 to (anne.mollen /at/ <mailto:(anne.mollen /at/> addressing – but not limited to – one or more of the following topics:

* Critical theoretical, conceptual, empirical, and methodological work on “AI”, infrastructures and sustainability in media and communication research * Critical discussions of sustainability, sustainability narratives and normative frameworks in relation to AI infrastructures * Imaginaries of sustainability and AI (their construction as well as resistance to it) * Human rights and digital justice implications of AI * Extractivism and AI (labour, data, resources etc.), including AI-related protest and movements * Intersectional perspectives on AI and sustainability * Resource consumption and environmental impacts of AI * Intersections of AI with local and energy politics * Market concentration, political economy, geopolitical perspectives and global distributional (in)justices in relation to AI infrastructures * Bias and discrimination in AI infrastructures, representation, and AI * Transformative and transdisciplinary perspectives on AI and sustainability