ArgLab • International Conference

Cognitive Ecologies, Values, and Disruptive Technologies

The concept of cognitive ecology has found diverse applications, offering valuable insights into the interplay between human cognition, affect and agency and its relationship and dependence on technology, and the environment (Tribble and Sutton 2011, Hutchins 2010). In the last thirty years, we have lived through a period of accumulation of rapid technologies such as the mobile internet, GPS, smart phones, social networks and now Generative AI. Such technologies have already reshaped human cognition as we have come to rely on them in a variety of ways (Smart, Heersmink, and Clowes 2017, Smart, Clowes, and Heersmink 2017, Clowes 2019, Krueger and Osler 2019). Many can be classed as disruptive technologies, not just because they change the way we do things, but, from a 4E cognition perspective, they can also change the way we think, remember, act and feel. Especially in the context of recent discussion of ‘hostile scaffolding’ (Timms and Spurrett 2023), how should we think of the qualitative and ethical implications of our cognitive dependence and a new order of ‘smart’ technologies?

The rapidly adoption of a new kind of cognitive technology, namely Generative AI, makes the understanding of the cognitive implications of (disruptive) technological change more essential than ever. This workshop brings together a brilliant group of international scholars and provides a platform for multidisciplinary discussions bridging technology, cognition, and values within various ecological contexts.

Please join us to discuss Cognitive Ecologies, Values, and Disruptive Technologies.

To join the sessions via Zoom, use this link.

This event is organised by Robert Clowes, Gloria Andrada & David Spurrett and will take place in the scope of the activities of the Lisbon Mind, Cognition and Knowledge Group and the GENAI Exploratory Project.


DAY 1: November 8th
LOCATION: Room C115 (Building C)

9:00–9:30 Introduction to the conference on Cognitive Ecologies, Values and Disruptive Technologies

9:30–10:30 Keynote Talk 1 | John Sutton, Varieties of disruption in cognitive technologies of memory and navigation

10:30–10:50 Coffee Break

10:50–11:40 Lucy Osler, The politics of nudges and niches

11:40–12:30 Ryan Timms, Scaffolded Dark Patterns: Scaffolding, User Interface Design & Manipulation

12:30–14:00 Lunch Break

14:00–14:50 Mateusz Hohol (w/ J. P. Grodniewicz), Therapeutic chatbots as cognitive-affective artifacts

14:50–15:40 Robert Clowes, Incorporating Generative AI in our Cognitive and Affective Lives as Extended Minds and Virtual Personalities

15:40–16:00 Coffee Break

16:00–16:50 Janna van Grunsven & Lavinia Marin, Teenage Cancel Culture and the Importance of Interpersonal Identity Exploration — An Enactive-Ecological take on How Teenagers are Wronged by Social Media Platforms

16:50–17:10 Break

17:10–18:10 David Spurrett, Nasty Niches

18:10–18:30 Possibly summative discussion of the first day

19:00 Dinner

DAY 2: November 9th
LOCATION: Room A210 (Tower A)

9:20–10:20 Keynote Talk 2 | Evelyn Tribble, To the Tune of: Ballads and Disruptive Technology

10:20–10:40 Coffee Break

10:40–11:30 Konrad Werner, Cognitive confinement in the suburbs: niche construction, (not much) distributed cognition, and collective problem solving

11:30–12:20 Jesus Vega, Cognition in taskscapes

12:20–14:00 Lunch Break

14:00–14:50 Guido Cassinadri, ChatGPT in education: Mind Extender or Supercognitive Artifact?

14:50–15:40 Paul Smart, Mindcraft: Cognitive Ecologies from an Engineering Standpoint

15:40–16:00 Coffee Break

16:00–16:50 Gloria Andrada (w/ J. Adam Carter), Know-how and the Mind-Technology Problem

16:50–17:00 Break

17:00–17:30 Cognitive Ecologies, Values and Disruptive Technologies (Drawing the threads together and future perspectives)

17:30 Formal End

17:30–18:30 Visit to Local Bar for “round table” discussion towards future collaboration

20:00 Informal dinner in city center