Machines of the Social: AI and Social Cognition

May 23, 2024 - May 24, 2024
University of Potsdam

Wissenschaftsetage, Raum Schwarzschild
Am Kanal 47
Potsdam 14467


Mercedes Bunz
Kings College
Bernard Dionysius Geoghegan
King's College
Universität Potsdam
University of Basel
University of Venice
University of Basel
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

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If it is true that the mind is a socially distributed power, then the form of the mind seems to depend essentially on the structure of our social interaction. Against this background, the question arises as to what social structure characterizes the computing machines that increasingly determine our social life and behaviour.

This question can be raised with regard to the internal structure of these machines as well as with regard to their role in the social fabric of human communication. It is remarkable that we think of the internal structure of technical agents themselves in social terms, with two social paradigms dominating our thinking: the hierarchical-military model on the one hand, and the network model on the other. As far as the structure of human communication is concerned, the focus of attention in recent years has been on how the algorithms of social media, the activity of bots and the new generation of LLMs are changing the form of sociality and the structure of discourse (networking and de-networking, intensification and polarization, conformism and fictionalism). The workshop asks in what way our machines are internally social and what form of sociality they themselves produce.

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