Digital Existence III: Living with automation – conference

Table of contents:

We are happy to announce Digital Existence III: Living with automation – a conference about artificial intelligence (AI), biometrics and the human condition.

The conference will be held at The Sigtuna Foundation 31 May – 1 June 2022.

About Digital Existence III

The DIGMEX Network and the Department of Informatics and Media, in collaboration with the Sigtuna Foundation, present “Digital Existence III: Living with Automation – a conference about AI, Biometrics and the Human Condition,” following on from “Digital Existence: Memory, Meaning, Vulnerability” (2015) and “Digital Existence II: Precarious Media Life” (2017). The conference is part of the project “BioMe: Existential Challenges and Ethical Imperatives of Biometric AI in Everyday Lifeworlds” (2020-2024), headed by professor Amanda Lagerkvist.

The two-day conference begins on May 31 with an open one-day symposium (“Living with Automation”) with a limited amount of seats. This will depend on availability and you can sign up by e-mailing Matilda Tudor. The symposium is free of charge, but participants pay for their own lunch.

Accepted keynote speakers for day one include N. Katherine Hayles, Benjamin Peters, Joanna Zylinska, Btihaj Ajana and there will be an introductory lecture by Amanda Lagerkvist. During day two, which is a workshop for the project and its associates, Sarah Pink, Kelly Gates and Sun-ha Hong will give keynote lectures.

Symposium: Living with Automation

31 May 2022 at the Sigtuna Foundation

The Sigtuna Foundation. Photo.

The full-day symposium “Living with Automation” takes existential media studies in new directions, prompting a necessary interrogation of AI and biometrics from creative, imaginary, artistic, philosophical and historical angles, while anthropologically centring on experiences of living with automation in today’s world. It features a series of keynote lectures by distinguished international guests from the humanities, with expertise on AI and the human condition.

Programme 31 May 2022

9:30 Coffee and registration in Rosengårdssalen

10:00 Welcome to the Sigtuna Foundation (Sigtunastiftelsen)!

10:15 Professor Amanda Lagerkvist, Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University, Principal Investigator of the WASP-HS Project BioMe and the Uppsala Informatics and Media Hub for Digital Existence. Introduction: AI as Existential Media

11:00 Keynote 1: Professor N. Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Distinguished Professor Emerita of Literature, literary critic and theorist. Inside the Mind of an AI: Materiality and the Crisis of Representation

12:00 Lunch

13:00 Keynote 2: Professor Joanna Zylinska, Professor of Media Philosophy, and Critical Digital Practice, Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. Machine Visions: On the Digital Imaging of the Future

14:00 Keynote 3: Dr Benjamin Peters, Hazel Rogers Associate Professor and Chair of Media Studies at the University of Tulsa. What Comes after the Anthropocene? Soviet AI and the Collapse of Other Inhumanely Smart Environments (via link)

15:00 Coffee

15.30 Keynote 4: Professor Btihaj Ajana, Professor in Ethics and Digital Culture at King’s College London. The Immunopolitics of Covid-19 Technologies

16:3017:00 Endnote: Professor Nick Couldry, Department of Media and Communications, London School of Economics and Political Science. Sociologist of media culture, focusing on media practices, ethics and data colonialism.

17:15–18:30 Art Exhibition: “Slip of the Digital Tongue” by Jacek Smolicki, interdisciplinary artist, designer, and researcher within the BioMe project. Dr Jacek Smolicki is also a soundwalker interested in techniques of attending to (as in paying attention) and recording (as in calling to mind and heart) human and other-than-human realms, events, and existences.

Context and funding

The conference “Digital Existence III: Living with Automation – a conference about AI, Biometrics and the Human Condition” is an activity within the project “BioMe: Existential Challenges and Ethical Imperatives of Biometric AI in Everyday Lifeworlds”, headed by Professor Amanda Lagerkvist in the Department of Informatics and Media at Uppsala University.

BioMe is part of the national research program WASP-HS: Wallenberg AI, Autonomous Systems Software Program – Humanities and Society.

The conference is co-organised by the DIGMEX network, Department of Informatics and Media and the Sigtuna Foundation and co-funded by WASP-HS, Uppsala University and the Sigtuna Foundation.


Matilda Tudor, Department of Informatics and Media, Uppsala University.

Last modified: 2022-04-28