CONFERENCE THEME: "Society and Technology: Our Emerging Future"
In his keynote address at ISARC 2006, Thomas Bock stated that “most of our life, be it agriculture, commerce, education, health care, warfare and industry, depends on relations between humans, society and mechanisms.” This is even more true in 2012.
A central intellectual challenge of our time is understanding the interactions between technology and society. Every academic discipline can contribute insights, but it is also crucial to look across disciplinary boundaries. Both society and technologies are changing rapidly, and their interactions are complex and sometimes subtle. We invite scholars from all disciplines and from all over the world to join us in exploring the emerging issues at the intersection of technology and society.
Japan, Society and Technology
Japan, perhaps more than any other country, has been ready to embrace new technology. One reason for this is that Japan has a long history of adapting technology to human and societal needs rather than forcing society to adapt to the needs of technology. This goes back at least to the sixteenth century when Dutch traders or missionaries brought European clocks to Japan. Japanese clock makers quickly adapted these to a more humanistic approach to time, one which divided the periods between sunrise and sunset into six temporal hours which varied in length with the seasons.
Robotics is a more recent example. Industry worldwide has embraced the use of robots because of their obvious benefits. Industrial robotics development exposes only a small part of society to this technology and that small part of society is one which has well defined expectations of how robots will fit into their environment. Domestic robots have, for the most part, been confined to cleaners and lawnmowers. These have single, well defined tasks and, consequently, very limited behaviours and no social interaction. Japan is at the forefront of developing domestic robots which will interact with humans in a more sophisticated way, and will thus be more socially involved. This presents unique opportunities to explore how society and technology not only advance together, but also fuse together.
There is an element of choice involved in the robotics examples above and society will decide whether or not sophisticated domestic robots become common. Technology also touches our lives in ways which we can not control. Scott McNealy's glib zero privacy remark may have had some truth in 1999 and it still has some truth today but that truth extends to areas that McNealy could not have imagined then. Surveillance cameras are becoming almost ubiquitous in cities, combine these with mobile phone location databases, RFID ticket databases, credit card databases and increasingly reliable facial recognition software and the landscape of personal privacy looks very sparse. How will this and other technologies with no personal opt-out affect our future behaviour?
Osaka, Society and Technology
Osaka is a natural meeting place at the hub of many land, sea and air routes. This has drawn a number of companies working at the leading edges of industry and technology to the area. Its proximity to the important cultural and historical centres of Kyoto and Nara make Osaka an ideal centre for exploring how society and culture interacts with technology and industry.
We hope you can join us in Osaka in 2012!
Deadline for submission of abstracts: April 15 2012
Results of abstract reviews returned to authors: Usually within two weeks of submission
Deadline for submission of full papers: August 1 2012
Deadline for full conference registration payment for all presenters: June 1 2012
Conference Programme Published Online: April 7 2012
ACCOMS Conference: June 15-17 2012
Early Bird Registration 35,000 JPY: Before April 1 2012
Advance Registration 45,000 JPY: From April 1 2012 onwards, but before May 1 2012
Regular Registration 50,000 JPY: From May 1 2012 onwards
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