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Autonomous Agents | Near-Future Fictions

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London

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Description

Virtual Futures presents Near-Future Fictions on the theme of 'Autonomous Agents.'

The consequences of automation are a key concern for a society that is exporting much of its decision making to algorithms, automation and artificial intelligence.

These decision-making entities operate on certain assumptions, biases and preconceptions about the world - many of which are inherited from those who programmed them. Despite this companies and institutions are introducing algorithmic thinking into the heart of their infrastructure at a rapid rate. They are allowing algorithmic cognition, whose processes of reasoning remain enigmatic, to manipulate and draw findings from the data it is fed.

From conflict to cosmetics, music to pharmaceuticals, construction to scientific research - and everything in between – we ask authors to intrigue us with stories that explore the potential implications of automating our lives. They may also consider who will be accountable for the results and how we should protect ourselves from accidental and deliberate use or abuse.

Submit Your Stories

Stories should be no longer than ten minutes reading time (around 1,000 words for stories). The author should be available to attend the event, preferably to read their work although alternative readers can be found.

Submissions should be emailed as attachments to: fiction@virtualfutures.co.uk

Submission Deadline: Sunday 02 December 2018

Please follow the guidelines:

  • Use the following email subject header template: Near-Futures Fiction, [Title of Work], [Name of Theme]
  • Include your name and title of your work in the document name using the following format: [Surname],[Firstname]_[TitleOfWork].doc (e.g. Doe,John_MyScienceFictionStory.doc)
  • Ensure attachments are editable file formats.
  • Please include a 50-word biography in the same document as the story.
  • Include any social media handles (Twitter etc.) and website if applicable.

Submissions for more than one theme are very welcome, but not multiple submissions for the same theme. Please send a separate email for each submission.

Successful authors will be notified in January 2019.

Curators

Vaughan Stanger, formerly an astronomer and more recently a research project manager in a defence and aerospace company, is now a full-time writer of science fiction and fantasy. His stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Abyss & Apex, Postscripts, Nature Futures and Interzone, amongst others. He has seen his stories translated into seven foreign languages to date. He is marketing a novel, but then isn't everyone? Vaughan expresses his worries about the future in his fiction but still craves that holiday on the Moon he reckons he was promised as a child. Like most writers, he adores cats, but has yet to let himself be enslaved by one. A neighbour's grey tabby has designs on this status.

Stephen Oram writes science fiction and is lead curator for near-future fiction at Virtual Futures. He enjoys working collaboratively with scientists and future-tech people; currently, he’s the cultural partner in a collaborative project with scientists at King’s College, London – they do the science he does the fiction. He’s been a hippie-punk, religious-squatter and an anarchist-bureaucrat; he thrives on contradictions. He is published in several anthologies and has two published novels, Quantum Confessions and Fluence. His recent collection of sci-fi shorts, Eating Robots and Other Stories, was described by the Morning Star as one of the top radical works of fiction in 2017.

Schedule

18:30pm - 19:00pm: Registration & Drinks
19:00pm - 19:20pm: Special Presentation
19:20pm - 19:45pm: Science Fiction Readings
19:45pm - 20:00pm: Break
20:00pm - 20:30pm: Science Fiction Readings
20:30pm - Close: Drinks & Networking

About the Venue

TBC

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Follow the discussion on Twitter here:
#VFFiction
@VirtualFutures

More Information

Virtual Futures (Est.1994) is a Community Interest Company (CIC). Ticket sales help to cover costs of the event including filming and documentation.

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London

United Kingdom

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Refunds up to 1 day before event

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