Call for Papers — AI: Socio-Cultural Perspectives from the Global South

2024-05-02 20:22:00

The intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and socio-cultural contexts is a dynamic and evolving field of study. As AI technologies continue to advance, it is crucial to critically examine their impact on diverse societies, particularly those in the Global South—a segment of society that is not only economically and structurally less privileged but even socio-culturally less represented, racially discriminated, and historically subjugated and underdeveloped. AI development is highly concentrated in the techno-progressive Global North, and the research around AI and its associated social impact has primarily focused on more resource-unhindered Euro-American communities. Agencies, including the World Economic Forum (Yu et al., 2023), have highlighted this "AI divide between the Global North and the Global South." The Global South's foray into adopting and leveraging AI for agriculture, healthcare, education, climate action, poverty alleviation, and a general GDP gain faces challenges from data infrastructure/ecosystem, data governance, AI-adoptability, AI-usability, and AI-accessibility. At the same time, interaction between AI algorithms and the Global South communities demands investigation as to how cultural perspectives shape the ethical guidelines, how cultural biases get perpetuated or exacerbated due to AI advancements and how to mitigate them, how the new posthuman-ness impacts the socio-cultural matrix of the Global South, how AI in the Global South is re-shaping and influencing the cultural production and economy, how AI is perpetuating neoliberal colonialism and capitalism in the Global South, and how the same is being negotiated/resisted by the subjects.

There needs to be more research on the socio-cultural perspectives of AI in the Global South. This special issue intends to fill this gap and shed much-needed light on this topic: socio-cultural responses to AI adoption, AI inequalities, and how AI is changing social-cultural life in the Global South region. The special issue editors invite proposals for articles about AI and socio-cultural perspectives in the Global South.

As a whole, the special issue welcomes analysis of AI and changing socio-cultural relations and responses. There are very few empirical/theoretical studies on this topic from the Global South region, and the issue will be the first to examine the changes brought by AI in the lives of those living in the region. The special issue editors welcome contributions that clarify hopes and impediments to AI society in the Global South. Articles should advance scholarly knowledge concerning the effect of AI on the region's broader socio-cultural contexts. Welcome topics include AI's effect on economic dynamics, techno-social issues, cultural aspects, historical legacies, embedded conflicts, AI skills and training (especially for historically marginalized communities), AI and ethical governance, AI and Quality of Life (QOL), well-being, AI divide and inequalities, and development trajectories.

The primary criterion for acceptance will be the scholarly promise and relevance of the topic. Each contribution should preferably include empirical analysis and theoretical links to broader sociology or social science debates. Contributors are encouraged to offer forward-looking perspectives and suggestions for social challenges, including how studying AI in the Global South can help inform research on AI culture worldwide.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

-    Can the Global South’s economic and socio-cultural development leapfrog by adopting AI technologies?
-    How does AI impede or advance the representation of the Global South communities (especially the marginalized and subalterns)?
-    What possibilities exist to drive AI inclusion in the Global South while reducing aspects of digital inequalities?
-    What are the implications of AI adoption for socio-cultural life in the Global South?
-    How do cultural diversity and values from the Global South shape standard AI ethical considerations (including privacy issues)?
-    Are AI use patterns related to social well-being and QOL in the Global South region?
-    How do socio-cultural, demographic, and economic factors in the Global South region affect the accessibility, usability, and applicability of AI?
-    How can "ethics of care" be hindered or promoted by the use and application of AI in the Global South?
-    Can AI create a better and more sustainable future for communities in the Global South?

Coverage:  The special issue “AI: Socio-Cultural Perspectives from the Global South” will include seven to eight articles examining sociological issues or perspectives on AI in the Global South region. Contributions will come from scholars working in and focusing on regional AI studies. The primary criterion for acceptance will be the scholarly quality and relevance of the topic. Each article should examine a specific social issue or perspective related to AI in the Global South region and related socio-cultural issues. Moreover, each contribution is encouraged to include empirical analysis theoretically linked to broader debates in sociology and other closely related social science sub-fields. Contributors are encouraged to offer forward-looking perspectives in suggestions for social challenges discussed and how the study of Global South social issues or regional perspectives can help inform research on critical AI worldwide. 


June 01, 2024 — 500 words abstracts deadline
June 15, 2024 — Invitation to submit full papers
August 01, 2024 — Submission of first drafts of selected papers 
October 01, 2024 – Return of reviews 
Novemder 01, 2024 – Submission of final drafts 
December 01, 2024 — Submission of final documents
December 31, 2024 – Publication


Contributions should be sent via e-mail to Prof. Dr. Glenn W. Muschert (Khalifa University of Science & Technology, UAE) glenn.muschert@ku.ac.ae and Prof. Dr. Arindam Das (Alliance University, India) arindam.das@alliance.edu.in with a copy to sociologica@hse.ru.


If you have any further questions, please, do not hesitate to contact editors / editorial team (sociologica@hse.ru).

Papers should be no more than 6,000-7,000 words and written in English. See website of the Review for the detailed guidelines for authors (sociologica.hse.ru/en/authors).

Журнал "Социологическое обозрение"
Москва, ул. Ст. Басманная, д. 21/4, стр. 1, А-205.
Зам. главного редактора: Марина Пугачева

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