Topic Editors

Utrecht University School of Governance, Utrecht University, 3511 ZC Utrecht, The Netherlands
Faculty of Communication and Public Relations, National University of Political Studies and Public Administration, 012244 București, Romania
Prof. Dr. Kim Sawchuk
Communication Studies/ACTLab, Concordia University, Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada
Dr. Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol
Faculty of Information and Communication Sciences and IN3 – Internet Interdisciplinary Institute, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 08009 Barcelona, Spain

AI in the Everyday Life of Older Adults: Panacea or Pandora's Box?

Abstract submission deadline
closed (1 June 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (10 July 2023)
Viewed by
3742

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

From conversational agents, such as Siri and Alexa, to the use of sensors in smart home, robots in hospitals and automatic cars, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming ubiquitous in society. The increasing omnipresence of AI is welcomed by techno-optimists who consider it a social good ([1]) that will solve a range of societal problems; techno-pessimists predict that the adoption of AI will produce damaging and irreparable changes to human relations. One thing is certain: paying attention to the politics and ethics of AI, at this particular moment, is crucial [2] as it becomes a part of contemporary societies.

Citizens are touched by AI in their everyday life, and while the role of AI for citizens has garnered attention in scientific studies, there is a lack of critical research into how older people perceive the role of AI in their everyday life. Are AI interventions, such as personalized digital information in the form of fall alert device in smart homes, positioned as a solution to the hazards that may come with aging? Are the consequences of AI, such as filter bubbles [3, 4], data ageism [5, 6]; surveillance [7, 8] understood as a threat or a necessary side effect of technological change? Are older people aware of the myriad ways in which AI is increasingly integrated into the way they live? Do older people perceive AI as an “enabling constraint” [9], both enhancing and restricting their agency? Is AI not even part of the discussion, and if so, what is the level of awareness of AI among older people? Is responsible AI innovation to fulfil older people needs possible [10]), and if so, then how? Is AI a Panacea, a Pandora’s Box or simply irrelevant from the perspective of age and ageing?

To address such questions, this topic primarily focuses on the intersections between older people and AI in everyday life, within the context of discourses and practices of AI professionals and experts from the field. Its purpose is to stimulate research into these areas and to generate insights into how older people make sense of these new technologies that are so ubiquitous in the commercial and public realm.

The present call-for-papers requests original research papers, as well as review articles, conceptual papers and methodological notes related to the practices and perceptions of AI in the everyday life of older people. The topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Critical analyses of the integration of AI in the everyday life of older people;
  • Older people’s AI use: single or cross country studies;
  • Ethical aspects of AI development, and use by and for older people;
  • Age-related biases in AI systems;
  • The integration of AI in the access of reliable services (banking, e-administration, health, leisure and news information, among others), and its effects;
  • Processes and protocols to stimulate  positive integration of AI in the everyday life of older people;
  • Ways to combat damaging aspects of AI in the everyday life of older people;
  • Ways to increase the critical awareness about AI among older people.

References

  1. Foffano, F.; Scantamburlo, T., Cortés, A. Investing in AI for social good: an analysis of European national strategies. AI & Society 2022, 1-22.
  2. Hauer, T. Importance and limitations of AI ethics in contemporary society. Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 9(1), 2022,1-8.
  3. Pariser, E. The Filter Bubble: what the internet is hiding from you. Penquin Books, 2011.
  4. Roosenschoon, H.; Loos, E. Maatschappelijke impact van gepersonaliseerde informatievoorziening: feit of fictie? [Societal impact of personalized information delivery: Fact or fiction?Mens & Maatschappij95(2) 2020, 133-150.
  5. Fernández-Ardèvol, M.; Grenier, L. Exploring data ageism: What good data can (’t) tell us about the digital practices of older people? New Media & Society 2020 4614448221127261.
  6. Chu, C. H.; Nyrup, R.; Leslie, K.; Shi, J.; Bianchi, A.; Lyn, A.; Grenier, A. Digital ageism: Challenges and opportunities in artificial intelligence for older adults. The Gerontologist, 62(7) 2022, 947-955.
  7. Berridge, C.; Grigorovich, A. Algorithmic harms and digital ageism in the use of surveillance technologies in nursing homes. Frontiers in Sociology, 7, 2022. 10.3389/fsoc.2022.957246
  8. Berridge, C.; Halpern, J.; Levy, K. Cameras on beds: The ethics of surveillance in nursing home rooms. AJOB Empirical Bioethics10(1), 2019, 55-62.
  9. Giddens, A. The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Polity Press, 1984.
  10. Lukkien, D.R.; Nap, H.H.; Buimer, H.P.; Peine, A.; Boon, W.P.; Ket, J.C.; ... Moors, E.H. Toward Responsible Artificial Intelligence in Long-Term Care: A Scoping Review on Practical Approaches. The Gerontologist 2021. 10.1093/geront/gnab180

The deadline to submit the abstract is 01.06.2023, and the deadline for the manuscript is 10.07.2023.

Dr. Eugène Loos
Dr. Loredana Ivan
Prof. Dr. Kim Sawchuk
Dr. Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • older people
  • awareness
  • AI
  • algorithms
  • age-related-related biases in AI systems older people
  • everyday life
  • digitalization

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Algorithms
algorithms
2.3 3.7 2008 15 Days CHF 1600
Behavioral Sciences
behavsci
2.6 3.0 2011 21.5 Days CHF 2200
Societies
societies
2.1 2.3 2011 32.6 Days CHF 1400
Technologies
technologies
3.6 5.5 2013 19.7 Days CHF 1600

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Published Papers (1 paper)

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Article
Reluctant Republic: A Positive Right for Older People to Refuse AI-Based Technology
by George Tudorie
Societies 2023, 13(12), 248; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc13120248 - 01 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1474
Abstract
Societies in the global North face a future of accelerated ageing. In this context, advanced technology, especially that involving artificial intelligence (AI), is often presented as a natural counterweight to stagnation and decay. While it is a reasonable expectation that AI will play [...] Read more.
Societies in the global North face a future of accelerated ageing. In this context, advanced technology, especially that involving artificial intelligence (AI), is often presented as a natural counterweight to stagnation and decay. While it is a reasonable expectation that AI will play important roles in such societies, the manner in which it affects the lives of older people needs to be discussed. Here I argue that older people should be able to exercise, if they so choose, a right to refuse AI-based technologies, and that this right cannot be purely negative. There is a public duty to provide minimal conditions to exercise such a right, even if majorities in the relevant societies disagree with skeptical attitudes towards technology. It is crucial to recognize that there is nothing inherently irrational or particularly selfish in refusing to embrace technologies that are commonly considered disruptive and opaque, especially when the refusers have much to lose. Some older individuals may understandably decide that they indeed stand to lose a whole world of familiar facts and experiences, competencies built in decades of effort, and autonomy in relation to technology. The current default of investigating older people’s resistance to technology as driven by fear or exaggerated emotion in general, and therefore as something to be managed and extinguished, is untenable. Full article
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