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Accepted Paper:

Translocally embodied minds: AI agents and the challenge to representation  
Philipp Graf (Hochschule München) Manuela Marquardt (Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin)

Long abstract:

Recent developments in AI make contingent communication with artificial agents a probable fact. While they seem to rely more on computational power than on a body to function, they still need to find a form of representation that is aligned with the human world. But what form of embodiment can AI agents have, and how will they change social differentiation?

Every AI agent is primarily embodied throughout a computer processing and wires transmitting the data that comprise it. Secondarily, it may be displayed as an avatar or text on a graphical interface, spoken via a loudspeaker, or embodied as a robot – determining upon which affordances it can act. Third, from an everyday perspective, an embodiment is the material aspect of an entity – usually thought of as delimitable and uniform – that serves as the representation of ‘itself’. Contrary to the common (organic) understanding of actors, AI agents may be translocally embodied or be able to re- and co-embody different devices, thus challenging the old European dichotomy of body and mind, still present in society.

Our contribution tests the theoretical argument, that these AI agents constitute a specific form of embodiment that society has yet to learn. New formal and informal norms of AI use can be expected to emerge when interactions with them increase in quantity and quality. We will outline this aspect by drawing on a scenario-based interview study with medical experts, focusing in particular on the interplay between embodiment, organizations, and representation of artificial identities.

Traditional Open Panel P112
Transformed social differentiation through digital transformation
  Session 1