This session responds to the variously promoted or forewarned explosion of automation and the apparent transformations of culture, economy, labour and workplace we are told will ensue. Automation has lately gained a renewed focus of hyperbolic commentary in print and online. We are warned by some of the ‘rise of the robots’ (Ford 2015) sweeping away whole sectors of employment or by others exhorted to strive towards ‘fully automated luxury communism’ (Srnicek & Williams 2015). Beyond the hyperbole it is possible to trace longer lineages of geographies of automation. Studies of the industrialisation of agriculture (Goodman & Watts 1997); Fordist/post-Fordist systems of production (Harvey 1989); shifts to globalisation (Dicken 1986) and (some) post-industrial societies (Clement & Myles 1994) stand testament to the range of work that has addressed the theme of automation in geography. Indeed, in the last decade geographers have begun to draw out specific geographical contributions to debates surrounding ‘digital’ automation. In similar if somewhat divergent ways, geographers have paid a closer attention to: the apparent automation of labour and workplaces (Bissell & Del Casino 2017); encounters with apparently autonomous ‘bots’ (Cockayne et al. 2017); the interrogation of automation in governance and surveillance across a range of scales (Amoore 2013, Kitchin & Dodge 2011); the integration of AI techniques into spatial analysis (Openshaw & Openshaw 1997); and the processing of ‘big’ data in order to discern things about, or control, people (Leszczynski 2015). The invitation of this session is to consider the contemporary discussions, movements and propositions of automation from a geographical perspective (in the broadest sense).
|Presenter||Rory Hopcraft*, Royal Holloway, University of London, The Futures of Maritime Autonomy, and it's Regulation||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Sofia Shwayri*, , Machine Learning and Place: the journey from the smart phone to the automated vehicle as experienced by the blind and partially sighted||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Sam Hind*, University of Siegen, Dreams of distribution: Mobility managers and ‘seamless’ autonomy||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Debbie Hopkins*, University of Oxford, Anna Davidson, University of Huddersfield, Tim Schwanen, University of Oxford, Automating Mobile Labour||15||12:00 AM|
|Presenter||Sam Kinsley*, University of Exeter, The Automative Imagination||15||12:00 AM|
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