Language of AI


In the modern world human-robot relations, language plays a significant role. One used to view language as a purely human technology, but today language is being mastered by non-humans. Chatbots, voice assistants, embodied conversational agents and robots have acquired the capacity for linguistic interaction and often present themselves as humanoid persons. Humans begin to perceive them  ambivalently as they would acknowledge an Other inside the make-believe of a game. Using artificial neural nets instead of symbolic representation of human cognitive processes in AI technology leads to self-learning models. Thus AI uses language in a  manner that is not predetermined by human ways of using it. How language is interpreted and employed by AI  may influence, even alter social reality.  – This is one of six commentaries on a 2011-paper by Mark Coeckelbergh: “You, robot: on the linguistic construction of artificial others.” Coeckelbergh‘s response also appears in this issue of Technology and Language.