Navigating Incommensurability Between Ethnomethodology, Conversation Analysis, and Artificial Intelligence. (arXiv:2206.11899v1 [cs.HC])

Like many research communities, ethnomethodologists and conversation analysts
have begun to get caught up — yet again — in the pervasive spectacle of
surging interests in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Inspired by discussions
amongst a growing network of researchers in ethnomethodology (EM) and
conversation analysis (CA) traditions who nurse such interests, I started
thinking about what things EM and the more EM end of conversation analysis
might be doing about, for, or even with, fields of AI research. So, this piece
is about the disciplinary and conceptual questions that might be encountered,
and — in my view — may need addressing for engagements with AI research and
its affiliates. Although I’m mostly concerned with things to be aware of as
well as outright dangers, later on we can think about some opportunities. And
throughout I will keep using ‘we’ to talk about EM&CA researchers; but this
really is for convenience only — I don’t wish to ventriloquise for our complex
research communities. All of the following should be read as emanating from my
particular research history, standpoint etc., and treated (hopefully) as an
invitation for further discussion amongst EM and CA researchers turning to
technology and AI specifically.



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