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[xmca] Friesen Article
Yes, xmca is a bit of a three ring circus: when there isn't a tiger loose on the other thread, then he's either backstage--or prowling the audience. I've got some non-rhetorical and non-display questions about the Friesen article:
a) My first question has to do with "interdisciplinarity", a recent thread that snapped befoer it could get as far as "Discursive Psychology and Educational Technology". In applied linguistics we used to think we were inter-trans-disciplinary: we thought we were language teaching plus any discipline you need to make language teaching more fun, effective, affordable, useful. Then we discovered that we were really just a TECHNOLOGY. It's not the same thing. For one thing, being a technology is more fun, effective, affordable, and useful. For another, it's not nearly as prestigious, which means good riddance to an enormous amount of careerist baggage. Isn't "cognitive science" (and even CHAT) just in the process of discovering the same thing?
b) My second question concerns p. 133, where Friesen has this to say: "Discursive psychology does not understand (?) discourse or conversation in terms of communication in its conventional technologized (??) meaning as the transmission of information; instead, it understands discourse above all (as?) a kind of activity--a type of action or work through which the social field of interaction itself is constituted". I can think of a lot of ways in which you could transmit information without "action" or "work" or even a social field of interaction (involuntary signals). I can't think of a single way in which you could constitute a social field of interaction without transmitting information. So am I to conclude that discursive psychology is a narrower notion than the convental technologized one?
c) My third question has to do with a sentence later in teh same paragraph that goes like this: (...Mind, computer, and other terms and categories woudl emerge from this type of analysis not so much as causes or tools to produce certain results but as rhetorical and interactional resources for discursive, social action." To me this suggests that they are not tools but only potential tools. Given that I am a proud technologist with no pretensions to interdisciplinarity, why is that a step forward? It looks like a giant leap backwards from where I am standing.
d) Finally, I wonder about the whole exercise of analyzing a tidbit of interaction between a human and a chatbot for evidence that the human is responding to the chatbot as we humans are supposed to, that is, as a more or less successful performance of a perverse kind of role play. The particular role play that chatbots are supposed to enact is NOT, however, a machine pretending to be human, but rather a human pretending to treat a machine as a human. Isn't the missing precondition for real (as opposed to potential) social action the ASSUMPTION that the other person has a genuine intention to interact?
Seoul National University of Education
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