Digital Hermeneutics: From Interpreting with Machines to Interpretational Machines

Abstract : Today, there is an emerging interest for the potential role of hermeneutics in reflecting on the practices related to digital technologies and their consequences. Nonetheless, such an interest has not yet given rise to a unitary approach nor to a shared debate. The primary goal of this paper is to map and synthetize the different existing perspectives in order to pave the way for an open discussion on the topic. The article is developed in two steps. In the first section, the authors analyze digital hermeneutics “in theory” by confronting and systematizing the existing literature. In particular, they stress three main distinctions among the approaches: 1) between “methodological” and “ontological” digital hermeneutics; 2) between data- and text-oriented digital hermeneutics and 3) between “quantitative” and “qualitative” credos in digital hermeneutics. In the second section, they consider digital hermeneutics “in action”, by critically analyzing the uses of digital data (notably tweets) for studying a classical object such as the political opinion. In the conclusion, we will pave the way to an ontological turn in digital hermeneutics. Most of this article is devoted to the methodological issue of interpreting with digital machines. The main task of an ontological digital hermeneutics would consist instead in wondering if it is legitimate, and eventually to which extent, to speak of digital technologies, or at least of some of them, as interpretational machines.
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AI & Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication, Springer, In press
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Alberto Romele, Marta Severo, Paolo Furia. Digital Hermeneutics: From Interpreting with Machines to Interpretational Machines . AI & Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication, Springer, In press. 〈hal-01824173〉

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