ARE SOCIOLOGISTS READY FOR ‘ARTIFICIAL SOCIALITY’? CURRENT ISSUES AND FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR STUDYING ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE IN THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
Keywords:artificial intelligence, artificial sociality, human-machine interaction, information and communication technologies, social theory, disciplinary boundaries
Current sociology doesn’t have a settled view on what to do with a phenomenon that in the literature has been titled as “artificial intelligence” (AI). Sociological textbooks, handbooks, encyclopedias, and sociology classes’ syllabi typically either don’t have entries about AI at all or talk about it haphazardly with a stress on AI’s social effects and without discerning the underlying logic that moves the prodigy on. This paper is an invitation to a professional conversation about what and how social sciences can/should study “artificial intelligence”. It is based on a discussion of the preliminary results of an on-going three-year research project that has been launched at the ISA Congress in Toronto. The paper examines AI in relation with ‘artificial sociality’. It argues that research on AI-based technologies is flourishing mainly outside established disciplinary boundaries. Thus, social sciences have to look for new theoretical and methodological frameworks to approach AI and ‘artificial sociality’.