News

WASP-HS Embraces SSH Vision with New Director Christofer Edling

Published: December 8, 2023
Christofer Edling, Professor of Sociology at Lunda University and Program Director of WASP-HS

Participants at the AI for Humanity and Society 2023 workshops. Photo: Charlotte Carlberg

Starting from 1 January, 2024, Christofer Edling, Professor of Sociology at Lund University, is new Program Director for WASP-HS.

“With me, WASP-HS gets a program director with roots in, experience of, and a strong faith in, social science and humanities research (SSH)” says Christofer Edling.

Bringing a wealth of experience from his position as a Professor of Sociology at Lund University, Edling holds a PhD in sociology from Stockholm University, with a career spanning over two decades in academia. His extensive expertise includes a deep understanding of social network analysis.

Edling, having been an integral part of the WASP-HS Board since the program’s inception in 2019, expresses his enthusiasm for the new role, stating, “With me, WASP-HS gets a program director with roots in, experience of, and a strong faith in social sciences and humanities research.”

His perspective is clear: “I am not a researcher of artificial intelligence (AI), but someone who is convinced that social sciences and humanities questions and perspectives are needed both to develop AI and autonomous systems and to understand how the new technology affects and is affected by society and the human condition, in a broad sense.”

Edling’s goals for WASP-HS under his leadership include a continued evolution into a robust national research environment, fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the initiation of innovative research. He aims to enhance the visibility of the social sciences and humanities component within WASP-HS, emphasizing its critical role in understanding and shaping the cognitive, existential and societal dimensions of AI and autonomous systems.

“I want WASP-HS to continue to develop into a strong national research environment, where researchers meet, learn from each other, and initiate new research,” Edling affirms. “I also want to strengthen the international exchange, especially for the younger researchers. It is important that the WASP-HS researchers are active members of the international research community, both to showcase our research and to ensure that we are at the forefront of research.”

In the midst of a technological revolution, Edling emphasizes that what is truly interesting for WASP-HS is not the technology itself but the possibilities and implications of AI and the interactions between technology and society. He envisions a future where the program’s researchers actively contribute to the international discourse, ensuring that WASP-HS remains a pioneer in cutting-edge research.