Artificial Sociality: Ethnomethodological Inquiry into Artificial Intelligence as a Social Phenomenon
This article focuses on the topic of artificial intelligence and its relation to sociological theory. There is no doubt that human intelligence is still unique in almost every way, compared to other organisms. The uniqueness of human intelligence presents itself in some aspects such as adaptability, plasticity, and creativity. This uniqueness emerges from the interactions between human and non-human objects. Things may have changed since the 1960s, when people not only started to imagine that they could build a machine that may think like humans, but also realized that they are capable of doing it, raising the question of what it means to be human, and blurring the boundary between social actor and society, which has been a traditional and presumptuous idea in sociological theory. In this article, the author adopts the viewpoint of ethnomethodology, reconstructs artificial intelligence as a social phenomenon, and puts it into the discussion of sociological theory. With ethnomethodology, the author expects to investigate how two kinds of intelligence interact and in what ways the answer may reframe the oldest questions of sociological theory:“what it means to be human” and “what it means to be social”.