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Conceptions of the Social that Stand Behind Artificial Intelligence Decision Making

John Monberg
The Journal of Technology Studies
Vol. 32, No. 1/2 (Winter/Spring 2006), pp. 15-22
Published by: Epsilon Pi Tau, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/43603621
Page Count: 8
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Abstract

AI proponents possessed a seemingly odd predilection to tell stories about times in which no stories are or will be told. Their stories cover a range of time that exceeds that of human experience, beginning with a kind of creation myth about competing songs that are parasitic on the behavior of apes to trajectories of progress in which Man is finally superseded by Machine. AI researchers, funders, and enthusiasts attempt to redefine fundamental social and political concepts of intelligence, meaning, and agency. Their redefinitions emphasize a calculating, controlling, one-dimensional form of rationality, serving to legitimize and extend the power of an already powerful elite. AI theorists ignore the social ground of intelligence, the connection between their computers and the world, and most importantly, the connection between society and their own work. If we accept their claims as true, then their definitions re-order and restructure the social spaces we inhabit.

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