Democracy and AI through humanist lenses: Editorial advances

  • blog Type / Membership blog
  • Date / 21 November 2023
  • By / Contributor

Piero Gayozzo is the director of the Secular Humanist Society of Peru and a member of the Peruvian Association of Atheists.

In 2021, the Secular Humanist Society of Peru applied for a Development Grant from Humanists International. It provided us with enough funds to create a Secular Humanist Editorial and to publish some books and journals. Thanks to Humanists International, we were able to install the Open Journal System, an informatics system for receiving and publishing papers, and join Crossref. This open digital infrastructure organization links academic and research institutions, and continues working on the Editorial. These were our first steps into the academy.

That year, our Editorial launched two journals and two books. Revista Humanista, an open journal dedicated to Secular Humanism, and Futuro Hoy, a journal dedicated to Futurism, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and Transhumanism. As a large project, the editorial was also supported by the Peruvian Association of Atheists and gathered a work team dedicated to the editing, translation, publishing, peer review, and informatics processes involved in its execution.

The grant we received covered the production costs for 2021. However, the Secular Humanist Society of Peru Editorial continues to work. During the last two years, our team had the opportunity to publish a digital book on science communication entitled “Microbial chronicles”. It was written by biologist Camila Castillo and presented in a popular Peruvian library, “El Virrey”.

In 2022, the Editorial organized two book presentations. The first was at the Sofa Café restaurant and the second at the El Virrey bookstore. Both books, printed with the support of Humanist International, were presented by some of the authors and translators involved in their development, and many copies were sold.

As for the journals, both continue to publish new issues. Revista Humanista published a volume dedicated to pseudoscience and Professor Sven Ove Hansson was invited to participate. In 2022, Futuro Hoy published a volume dedicated to “Ethics, Artificial Intelligence and Algorithms” and presented an interview with an Argentine professor expert in AI and its social impact.

This year, the journal Revista Humanista published its new volume. Following the declaration “Democracy: a humanist value” adopted by the General Assembly of Humanists International this year during the World Humanist Congress in Coppenhague, Denmark, the Secular Humanist Society of Peru dedicates this volume to democracy. Today, far-right, religious fundamentalism, postmodern critical theory, and populism threaten democratic institutions around the world. It is important to reflect on this issue because without democracy the chances of creating a humanist world could be reduced.

Because of the importance of the topic, we asked a recognized author to participate in this new volume. In this case, we contacted the John Dewey Professor of Philosophy and 2013 Laureate of the International Academy of Humanists, Philip Kitcher. Thus, for the first time, the essay “Science, Religion and Democracy” has been translated into Spanish and published by our Editorial.

This volume includes papers with comments and analyses on the relationship between democracy and football, and how this sport could be used in a populist way. This is a very interesting paper on improving democratic elections with algorithms and another one is dedicated to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, among others.

At the same time, this year’s issue of Futuro Hoy was dedicated to artificial intelligence and generative AI. It reflected the importance of thinking about humanism and new technologies as explored in this year’s World Humanist Congress. The volume contains two special works. A translation of a work by philosopher and “friendly AI” researcher Eliezer Yudkowsky, and an interview to Juan Cerón Uribe, a ChatGPT developer.

The Secular Humanist Society of Peru is very grateful to Humanist International for its support. Throughout these years, our editorial staff has continued to publish academic works and books as part of our efforts to make secular humanism an option for many Peruvians. We are also grateful to all the activists and professionals who have trusted our journals to publish their works, as well as to the renowned philosophers, such as Steven Pinker, Nick Bostrom, John R. Shook, Klaus Schwab, Toby Ord, and Rob Kitchin, who have accepted our invitation to translate their works and open a window to their ideas for Peruvian readers during these years. It is important to say that both journals are open access, so we are happy to invite all our humanist colleagues to be part of this great project and try to replicate it in your country.

While you are here...

As a registered charity and NGO, we rely on the donations we receive from our members and supporters to help us campaign on humanist issues, lobby for humanist values at international institutions (including the United Nations) and protect humanists at risk of persecution and violence. If you support our aims, please consider giving a one-off or regular gift today. Thank you.

WordPress theme developer - whois: Andy White London