Robotocene: The political ecology of automation I; Production

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Balcony B, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Organizers: Paul Robbins
Chairs: Karen Bakker

Call for Submissions

That the mechanization of labor is entering a new and accelerated phase is well recognized. Robots and artificial intelligence have purchase in all corners of the economy, operating in many areas where humans previously labored, reasoned, and governed. The implications of all this mechanization for basic questions in political ecology, however, remain under-examined. How does the offset of wage labor in agriculture affect intensification, inputs, outputs, and waste streams? What role do robots, drones, and automated remote observation play in conservation, and to what degree do these trends solidify or erode the power of “fortress” conservation? How does automation increase or decrease human access to, and interaction with, the thriving riot of biotic non-humans around them? This session seeks to rigorously examine trends in robotics, mechanization, and artificial intelligence in areas of resource management, agroecology, and conservation, among others, uniting the core concerns of political ecology with analysis of trends in the automation of economy. We seek papers that not only provide conceptual and theoretical purchase on these questions, but also those that provide concrete cases, exploring all aspects and dimensions (both normatively positive and negative) of the emerging ecology of robots.


Description

That the mechanization of labor is entering a new and accelerated phase is well recognized. Robots and artificial intelligence have purchase in all corners of the economy, operating in many areas where humans previously labored, reasoned, and governed. The implications of all this mechanization for basic questions in political ecology, however, remain under-examined. How does the offset of wage labor in agriculture affect intensification, inputs, outputs, and waste streams? What role do robots, drones, and automated remote observation play in conservation, and to what degree do these trends solidify or erode the power of “fortress” conservation? How does automation increase or decrease human access to, and interaction with, the thriving riot of biotic non-humans around them? This session seeks to rigorously examine trends in robotics, mechanization, and artificial intelligence in areas of resource management, agroecology, and conservation, among others, uniting the core concerns of political ecology with analysis of trends in the automation of economy. We seek papers that not only provide conceptual and theoretical purchase on these questions, but also those that provide concrete cases, exploring all aspects and dimensions (both normatively positive and negative) of the emerging ecology of robots.


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Paul Robbins*, Nelson Institute for Environmental StudiesUniversity of Wisconsin, Douglas Reinemann, University of Wisconsin-Madison, The political ecology of robots: Dairy labor, automation, and the secret life of cows 15 8:00 AM
Presenter Julia E Corwin*, London School of Economics and Political Science, Analog work in a digital world: global ecologies of electronics repair 15 8:15 AM
Presenter Alberto Valz Gris*, Polytechnic University of Turin, Urbanization across the li-ion network: towards an urban political ecology of automation 15 8:30 AM
Presenter Matt Huber*, Syracuse University, Ecosocialism: Dystopian and Scientific 15 8:45 AM
Presenter Lily House-Peters*, California State University, Long Beach, Katherine G Sammler, California State University Maritime, Casey R Lynch, University of Arizona, The ‘Robot’ in the Coal Mine: Emerging Regimes of Extractivism in the Robotic Age 15 9:00 AM
Discussant Karen Bakker University of British Columbia 20 9:15 AM

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