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Student
Title
Supervisor
Faculty
Educational Programme
Final Grade
Year of Graduation
Arcadiy Tjunin
Sociological Aspects of Voice Assistants Language Scripts Development: Analysis of Expert Discourse
Complex Social Analysis
(Master’s programme)
2019
This paper summarizes the main critical arguments against the idea of formalization of social knowledge or human thinking (artificial intelligence), based on the concept of tacit knowledge of M. Polanyi and the subsequent reception in the sociology of knowledge of the second half of the XX century (G. Collins, M. Kush, B. Barnes). In line with the sociology of knowledge, differences are outlined (in comparison with computing systems) in a) ways of mastering the structures of knowledge by social agents and b) ways of interpreting and following the rules by social agents. In contrast to the computing system in the production of linguistic expressions of social agents do not operate by formal rules of word formation and are not engaged in deconstruction of the proposals do not follow the prescriptive rules of language production and not pre-programmed like computers (top-bottom approach).

It is established that the elimination of differences between the semantic features of the use of language by agents and the computer system rests on the assumption that it is possible to create a formal theory of linguistic behavior described by the rules, as well as ignoring the social nature of the rules of linguistic production and the intelligible nature of the nature of social action.

Computing systems do not face the problem of rules that do not contain rules for their own application, the computing system does not deal with the so-called "regress of rules", because it does not interpret the elements of information and does not face the limitations of interpretation. Even in the processing of natural language, the language of semantics has the nature of numerical expressions, allowing to produce over the concepts of language or sentences linear algebra operations.

In the expert discourse, it is repeatedly noted that the computing power of modern computers and a huge amount of text data allow to achieve high-quality results when translating from language to language or when creating systems that interact with a person in a natural language.

In this case, there may be a connection of the concepts of natural language in synonymous series, for example, the days of the week can be represented by synonyms. The problems of homonymy and polysemy also impose limitations on the success of textual and verbal interaction. In the expert discourse it is noted that social agents have ontologically based on life experience the ability to distinguish concepts that occur in the same contexts (days of the week). Apparently, the global context, characteristics of social and physical environment make social agents more competent when working with semantics.

Expert discourse in terms of "a priori knowledge" seeks to emphasize the same problem – the computing system knows nothing about the structure of the world around it and what lies behind the numerical variables it deals with. Since the computer system does not have "tacit" knowledge, and does not follow the rules in the sense in which L. Wittgenstein wrote about it, the idea of processing natural language with the help of probabilistic models and the creation of dialogue systems is conceptually unable to perform its tasks. Following the rules in any formal system (e.g. mathematics) is a normative practice. In the discussion of the machine that performs calculations, L. Wittgenstein tried to demonstrate that the machine does not follow normative practice and, therefore, is not related to mathematical operations. Calculation means following the rules of the formal system with which working people as a collective entity, while the computing system performing the conversion of the syntax in accordance with explicit rules outside the social context.

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