Call for Papers: First Workshop on Ethics in Natural Language Processing

To be held at EACL 2017 in Valencia on April 3 or 4, 2017

Submission deadline: Jan 16, 2017


NLP is a rapidly maturing field. NLP technologies now play a role in business applications and decision processes that affect billions of people on a daily basis. However, increasing amounts of data and computational power also mean increased responsibility and new questions for researchers and practitioners. For example, are we inadvertently building unfair biases into our data sets and models? What information is it ethical to infer from user data? How can we prioritize accountability and transparency? What are the big picture ethical consequences and implications of our work?

This one-day, interdisciplinary workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners in NLP with researchers in the humanities, social sciences, public policy, and law to identify and discuss some of the most pressing issues surrounding ethics in NLP. The focus will be on ethics as it relates to the practice of NLP—i.e., actual uses of NLP technologies—not on general aspects of academic ethics (e.g., conflicts of interest, double blind reviewing, etc.), unless they can be addressed with NLP technologies.

The workshop will consist of:
– invited talks,
– contributed talks and posters
– panel discussions

Topics of Interest:
We invite submissions by researchers and practitioners in NLP as well as the humanities, social sciences, public policy, and law on any area of NLP related to:

· Bias in NLP models (e.g., reporting bias, implicit bias).
· Exclusion and inclusion (e.g., exclusion of certain groups or beliefs, how/when to include stakeholders and representatives for the user population to be served).
· Overgeneralization (e.g., making false classifications on tasks including authorship attribution, NER, knowledge base population).
· Exposure (e.g., underrepresentation/overrepresentation of languages or groups).
· Dual use (e.g., the positive and negative aspects of NLP applications, the close relationship between government and industry interests and NLP research).
· Privacy protection (e.g., anonymization of biomedical documents, best practices for researchers in industry to ensure the privacy of their users’ data, educating the public about how much industry and government may know about them, privacy protection for data annotated with non-linguistic features such as emotion).
· Any other topic which concerns ethical considerations in NLP.

Paper submission:
Submissions have to be made electronically via the START submission system: Submissions should be in PDF format and anonymized for review.

All submissions must be written in English and follow the EACL 2017 formatting requirements (available on the EACL 2017 website: We strongly advise the use of the LaTeX template files provided by EACL 2017:
· Each long paper submission must consist of up to eight pages of content, plus two pages for references. Accepted long papers will be given one additional page (i.e., up to nine pages) for content, with unlimited pages for references.
· Each short paper submission must consist of up to four pages of content, plus two pages for references. Accepted short papers will also be given one additional page (i.e., up to five pages) of content, with unlimited pages for references.

All submissions will be peer reviewed, but authors can opt for non-archival submission, since some journals won’t accept work that has been published previously.

Organizing committee:

Dirk Hovy, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Margaret Mitchell, Google Research, USA
Shannon Spruit, Technical University Delft, The Netherlands
Michael Strube, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies gGmbH, Germany
Hanna Wallach, Microsoft Research, USA

Call for papers: collective intentionality X

From August 31 – September 2, 2016, the conference Collective Intentionality X is held in the Hague, which is cosponsored by the 3TU.Ethics Center. (see
You can submit papers proposals until May, 15 on the conference website. As part of the conference, we will organize a special session on collective intentionality and responsibility in technology with among others speakers from the Eindhoven, Twente and Delft.  If you are interested in partaking in this session, please send your abstract also separately to Ibo van de Poel ( in addition to submitting it on the website.
The Collective Intentionality X takes place at the same venue and time as ECAI 2016 . (European Conference  on Artificial Intelligence). People who register for one of these conferences can also attend the other.

Call for Papers: Experimenting with New Technologies in Society

The conference is part of a research effort in which new technology is conceptualized as a form of social experimentation. In this perspective, the introduction of a technology into society is not seen as a one-off decision but rather as an ongoing social experiment, and one of the main aims of our project is to investigate the conditions under which such social experiments are morally acceptable. However, we are also more than eager to explore additional aspects and implications of this social experimentation paradigm. As such, we would like to invite you to contribute to our upcoming conference on August 20-22 2015 at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. The themes we are interested in include:

  • The notion of (social) experiment
  • The governance of experiments
  • Historical and current cases of experimentation with new technologies
  • Ethical aspects of experimenting with new technologies
  • The politics of experimentation/experimental politics
  • Designing for experimentation
  • Future Studies/Foresight studies/Technology Assessment and experimentation

We welcome a wide range of contributions to this social experimentation framework and our conference, so do not hesitate to submit a paper before March 1st of 2015.

For more information please check the conference website

Call for Papers: Biofuels and (ir)Responsible Innovation Conference, 13-14 April 2015

Call for papers: Biofuels and (ir)responsible innovation: tensions between policy, practice and sustainable development.

We cordially invite you to participate in the closing conference of the NWO Societally Responsible Innovation project: ‘Biofuels: sustainable innovation or gold rush?’

Venue: The conference will be hosted by Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, NL.

Dates: Mo. 13- Tue. 14 April 2015. The first day of the conference will be devoted to scientific research; the second day will bring scientists in contact with policy-makers and other societal stakeholders to discuss practical implications of the research presented.

Keynote spekers (scientific):

– Dr. Jennifer Baka (the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK)

– Dr. Atakilte Beyene (The Nordic Africa Institute, Uppsala, Sweden)

– Dr. Carol Hunsberger (University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada)

– Dr. Lena Partzsch (Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany)

– Dr. Joachim Spangenberg (UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Halle, Germany)

Keynote speakers (society):

– Drs. Nathalie van Haren (Both ENDS)

(To be updated…)

Background: For as long as biofuels have prominently appeared in EU policy, they have been a contested energy source. Crops such as jatropha have been hailed as ‘wonder crop’, only to experience an ‘extraordinary collapse’ within a decade. From the food vs. fuel discussion to indirect land use change, wicked problems have plagued biofuel developments and continue to provoke disagreement between societal actors. The impacts of biofuels’ tumultuous history have been felt particularly in the Global South, where land grabbing and opportunistic behaviour of investors have caused great social and ecological problems.

Proponents of biofuels claim that this is all the more reason to continue with investments and innovation: new sources of biofuels, such as plant residues and algae, will eventually solve all our problems. Given the great uncertainties and past harms, however, these claims should not be accepted lightly, nor should we assume that all encountered problems are technology-specific. Rather, we should realise that biofuels as a case study raise fundamental questions with regard to policy and governance, responsible innovation and sustainable development.

This conference is devoted to addressing these fundamental questions from a multidisciplinary perspective. As such, we welcome contributions from (but not limited to) the following disciplines: development studies; economics; environmental studies; ethics; policy studies; political ecology; science and technology studies and sociology.

Please visit TU/e website to find out more:

Call for Papers: Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science

Call for Papers: Foundations, Modeling and Design of Complex Social-Technical Systems

Symposium or Affiliated meeting at the 15th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science (CLMPS 2015); University of Helsinki, Finland, 3—8 August 2015.

Organizers: DLMPS commission on the Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences

The notion of socio-technical (ST) system was introduced by Eric Trist, Ken Bamforth and Fred Emery while working at the Tavistock Institute in London during the postwar reconstruction of the British coal mining industry. Their version of the term referred primarily to the interplay between human and technological factors in working environments within organizations. Besides this intra-organizational meaning of the term, a second connotation of ST-systems has emerged, primarily in engineering and managerial contexts. It refers to large, often infrastructural systems embedded in society as a whole such as the various worldwide transport systems (railway, traffic, aviation, and waterway), large energy grids, water supply, sewage networks and the internet with its social media, etc. This societal, extra-organizational version of the ST-system notion is rooted within systems engineering, and users of the notion focus on the design and management of large and complex ST-systems (CST). These CST-systems are different from engineering systems because, besides being large and complex, they are deeply intertwined with social reality made up by human individuals (in various roles such as multi-purposed users, operators, service men, inspectors, etc.), groups of human beings (such as action groups, organizations, legislators, governments etc.), and other more general structures of social reality (such as norms and value systems, legislation, regulations, monetary systems, states, etc.). Consequently, explanation and prediction of CST-system features and their optimization require an overall integrative approach toward the study of socio-technical phenomena. CST-systems display deep uncertainty, emergence of high level features, and developments on various levels within different time scales. In his 2012 C.L. Miller Lecture, MIT’s Dr. Joseph M. Sussman, has called for CST-systems to become the subject of a new field of scientific inquiry because many of today’s global problems are intrinsically CST-system-related. He mentions the following examples: climate change, energy/environment, developing megacities, global economy, national security, productivity and mobility. Moreover, the global problem related CST-systems are there to stay—and are even likely to increase their impact. If we want to make progress regarding these problems, we have to study them. The goal of this symposium is to increase our theoretical understanding of CST-systems, and augment our ability to control and optimize them. To that end we encourage readers to send in philosophical and foundational papers concerning (1) identification, (2) conceptual questions, (3) knowledge acquisition, and (4) design/optimization of CST-systems. The following are among the examples of questions and issues we consider relevant.
Ad (1) Empirical examples and classifications.
– Empirical descriptions of what can be considered clear examples of CST-systems (beside those referred to above also the media (Trist) and university systems (Bucciarelli & Kroes) are mentioned). – Why do empirical observations about these examples suggest these to be CST-systems rather than other systems (engineering, hybrid, human-technological, large scale, systems of systems—the various roles of human beings in the loop?)?
– What CST-system classification emerges from those empirical descriptions (e.g., Trist: work systems, organizational, macro-social)?
– Does the empirical inventory suggest a distinction between intra- and extra-organizational notions of ST-systems (differences power distributions)?
Ad (2) Conceptual and definition related issues.
– What are characteristic features of CST-systems beside those mentioned above (no, or more than one overarching function; being monolithic; evolutionary; geographic topology; hybridity; feedback loops; collective action; distributed intelligence; trust; voluntary and collaborative interactions; multi-level value-systems, etc.)?
– How do these features conceptually distinguish CST-systems from its competitor notions mentioned in (1), and can we even reasonably define CST-systems using these features?
– How does the notion of CST-system relate to other systems notions (instrumental, social, dynamic, developmental, physical, technical, intentional, etc.)?
– Is the CST-system notion perhaps even ill-conceived? Are they not just too large extrapolation systems thinking to say something scientifically sound about them (too many mechanisms, functions and contingencies to gather knowledge about and to be fruitfully optimized, let alone to be designed from scratch)?
Ad (3) Knowledge acquisition.
– How are we to delineate specific CST-systems empirically?
– What levels of interaction are to be distinguished within CST-systems and what are appropriate classifications of their constituents and their mutual relations?
– How should we cope with the multi-layeredness of CST-systems?
– What general roles of (groups of) human beings should be identified?
– How should we choose within the enormous diversity of natural, engineering and social science methodologies within CST-system studies?
– Which are the most appropriate explaining mechanisms within CST-systems (Bunge)?
– To what extent do CST-systems allow for formal analysis and explanation (differential equations, multi-agent modeling, logical structure), and does it make sense to look for dynamic descriptions?
Ad (4) Design and optimization.
– What methodologies do we need to cope with specific design problems of CST-systems (the design commission is established “on the fly,” design seems always a question of redesign, they seem to evolve rather than to be designed)?
– What are the prospects of identifying general underlying rules or regularities with the solution of individual CST-system design problems that will be of general use for other CST-systems?
– Is it legitimate regarding safety, uncertainty and risks and the openness of the system, to consider persons and even organizations possible components of a system just like nuts and bolts?
– How can we integrate multi-leveled value systems into CST-systems optimizations?

Contributors to the symposium are encouraged to submit an abstract of 300 words prepared for review by the DLMPS commission. Accepted contributed papers will be allocated in total 30 minutes (20 min for the presentation + 10 min for discussion). Proposals are to be submitted to

Deadline for submissions: January 3rd 2015
Notification date: January, 21st 2015
For the rules regarding multiple presentations, please consult the official CLPMS 2015 website:

Call for Papers: Smart technologies for improving driver behaviour

Call for Papers

Smart technologies for improving driver behaviour: Technological, psychological, and ethical perspectives

30th – 31st October 2014

Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands

Abstract Deadline: 30th may 2014

Keynote Speakers: Joel Anderson, University of Utrecht (Ethics), Manfred Tscheligi, University of Salzburg (Psychology), Keynote-Speaker Automotive Technology & Design (TBA)

With recent technological developments we can improve road safety, mobility, and energy efficiency through influencing the driver. The attempt to influence driver behaviour can be placed in broader trends within traffic management. We witness a shift from centralized to decentralized traffic management. The communication between vehicles, between vehicles and infrastructure, the increasing connectivity and the automatisation of driver tasks offer new opportunities and challenges for traffic management and for targeting driver behaviour.

On the one hand, technologies have been developed that influence drivers by for instance by giving them positive or negative feedback: persuasive technologies. On the other hand, technologies have been introduced in cars that (partly) take over the task of driving: automation technologies. This conference focuses on the technical, psychological, and ethical issues regarding the use of both types of technologies in cars to influence the driver of the future.

Abstract Submission to:
Deadline for submission: May 30th, 2014
Notification of acceptance: June 30th, 2014
Conference:  October 30-31, 2014

Full call text available here: CFP Smart Technologies