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The Age of Artificial Intelligence: An Exploration

Edited by Steven S. Gouveia, University of Minho, Portugal

ISBN: 978-1-62273-872-4
Availability: Forthcoming

In the making: Digital fabrication and disability

Ursula Kate Hurley, University of Salford

October 2019 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-330-9
Availability: In stock
144pp. ¦ $43 £32 €36

Digital fabrication combines virtual and material worlds; transforming thoughts into things, and things into data. It fosters complex and varied communities while enabling the pursuit of unique individual outputs. Current literature on digital fabrication concentrates on its technical and economic potential, with little attention yet being paid to the fundamental questions of how the technology might affect our understanding of identity, embodiment, or creative processes. Using case studies and experiences gained from ground-breaking fieldwork, "In the Making" explores these processes and their products from both cultural and aesthetic perspectives; with emphasis on its human interactions, not on technology. Embracing the absence of established methodologies in their emerging area of investigation, this volume offers a series of wide-ranging and original interdisciplinary framings which arise from the materials themselves. That very act of imagining, of selecting and committing to an envisaged but not yet physically present product, offers insights into needs and desires. What is the story of that design? How did it come to be? The basic principles of digital fabrication – the transformation from concept to physical entity – offer intriguing possibilities for aesthetic and cultural readings, particularly from the perspectives of disability. Online, open access maker communities mean that anyone with an internet connection and a desktop 3D printer is able to download and print a wide variety of replicable and customisable objects. What might this mean for disabled people? As digital fabrication technologies enter mainstream society, In the making poses urgently applicable questions about presence, existence, and authenticity and begins to suggest how we might explore them.

Singleness in Britain, 1960-1990: Identity, Gender and Social Change

Emily Priscott, University of Sussex, UK

ISBN: 978-1-62273-387-3
Availability: Available 4 weeks
181pp. ¦ $59 £44 €50

This book contributes to an emerging field of research, looking at the significance of marital status to debates about identity and gender. It examines representations and experiences of single men and women between 1960 and 1990, using a wide variety of sources, including digitized British newspapers, social research, films and lifestyle literature. Whilst much-existing work focuses on the early-to-mid 20th centuries (such as Katherine Holden’s groundbreaking work, The Shadow of Marriage: Singleness in England, 1914-1960), my research examines the impact of the 1960s and its aftermath upon changing attitudes to singleness. Whilst Holden and others, such as Virginia Nicholson in Singled Out, focus largely on social status and lived experience (often through oral testimony), the author is just as interested in finding new ways of looking at gender and sexuality. This work starts from the premise that a distinct double standard existed in attitudes towards single men and women, which continued even after the wave of legislation to improve women’s status during the 1960s. Examining these often vastly different expectations reveals a complex web of progress, continuity, and contradictions, highlighting the uneven pace of social change and its frequent compromises and limitations. Using theoretical approaches such as feminism and queer theory, this work explores the impact of changing gender norms on issues such as single fatherhood, old maid stereotypes, and experiences of homelessness. It can be used as a study aid for 20th-century British history and gender studies courses, and might also interest both established academics and intellectually curious non-academic readers. The author has made efforts, where possible, to clearly explain her theoretical approaches and interventions for those who might be unfamiliar with them.

City of Children

Francesco Tonucci, Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the National Research Council, Italy

ISBN: 978-1-62273-763-5
Availability: Forthcoming

The city, born as a place of meeting and exchange, has for several decades taken as a default model the strong citizen, man, adult and worker, thereby transforming into a hostile space for the weakest: the elderly, the disabled, the poor and the children. The automobile, the toy of choice for the privileged citizen, is also taken to be the senior citizen of the city, thus endangering the health, aesthetics and mobility of the commonweal. This book proposes a new philosophy of city governance that takes children as the default citizens, with the confidence that a city sensitive to the needs of childhood will be healthier for everybody. This work recovers elements of the 1989 Convention of the Rights of the Child that recognize the full citizenship of children to suggest two principle axioms for optimal city design: the participation of children in city governance and the restitution of their autonomy, which allows them to stay with their friends and play freely. Boys and girls, in this way, represent all those excluded from decisions and power. This book is primarily written for politicians and city managers so that they can take on board the ideas within. Yet it is also important for teachers and parents so that they can respect the rights provided in the convention. City of Children should be made available to students on teacher-training courses, and also to the children who are the book’s true protagonists. At present, more than two hundred cities in Spain, Italy, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Brazil and Costa Rica have joined this project. This book is a translation of “La città dei bambini” and was translated as part of the Bridging Language and Scholarship initiative. The English edition by Vernon Press follows previous editions of this important work in Italian and the four languages of the Spanish nation (Galego, Basque, Catalan and Castilian), French and Portuguese to make available for the first time this important work to a broader international audience.

Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence

Edited by Christopher Hrynkow, University of Saskatchewan

ISBN: 978-1-62273-889-2
Availability: In stock
302pp. ¦ $56 £42 €47

By taking a religiously and spiritually literature approach, this volume gets the heart of several emerging ethical issues crucial to both human identity and personhood beyond the human as technology advances in the areas of human enhancement and artificial intelligence (AI). Several significant questions are addressed by the contributors, such as: How far should we go in improving our biological selves? How long should we aspire to live? What are fair and just human enhancements? When will AIs become people? What does AI spirituality consist of? Can AIs do more than project humour and emotions? What are the religious undertones of these high technology quests for better AI and improved human existence? Established and emerging voices explore these questions, and more, in Spiritualities, ethics, and implications of human enhancement and artificial intelligence. This volume will be of interest to university students and researchers absorbed by issues surrounding spiritualities, human enhancement, and artificial intelligence; while also providing points for reflection for the wider public as these topics become increasingly important to our common future.

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