Dimensions of Experience in Human-Machine Interaction (in german)
Chair: Daniel Schubbe-Åkerlund (Hagen)
Thomas Bedorf (Hagen): Hermeneutic of Machines
Understanding machines is not that difficult if the machine processes that cause their functions are known. This does not require hermeneutics, but technical knowledge. The situation is different with machines whose processes are unknown, like a black box. Algorithms, as they populate the digital world, must be understood. They not only pose riddles to the users, but also the programmers are like interpreters if the code appears as “unconscious” (Katherine Hayles). At the same time, it seems to be the other way around – and this is another way to read the term “machine hermeneutics” – that the machines understand “us,” possibly better than we do ourselves: through recurring patterns, profiles, and similarities, or the bare data patterns even make understanding superfluous (Chris Anderson).
The lecture will attempt to reach a conceptual understanding of what is meant by “understanding” in each case.
Christian Leineweber (Hagen): Paradoxes in the Digital. On the Phenomenon of Human-Machine Interaction from the Perspective of Education Theory
The German term Bildung can be described as the human experience of learning new perspectives on the world and on oneself in the world (see Marotzki 1990). The character of such an experience is paradoxical, because it deals with the practical production of determinacy on the basis of indeterminacy (see Gamm 2000).
The talk discusses what effects the conditions of the digital have on the paradoxical structure of experience. It starts from the thesis that human-machine interaction holds out the prospect of a rationalizing and, as it were, surveying control of the world through data (see e.g. Bächle 2016; Mau 2017; Baecker 2019). The consequence of this control is a cybernetic transformation of the relationship between humans and the world, which will be explored with regard to the currently dominant logics of increase and measurement in individual as well as collective life. In this way, a reflection on human-machine interaction becomes possible, within which the concept of Bildung reminds us that human potentials can only be realized in the future if processes of experience remain paradoxical and thus transcend the limits of experience (see Thompson 2009).
Kevin Liggieri (Darmstadt): Anthropocentrism in Human-Machine-Interaction. A Perspective from Anthropology of Technology
Due to the fact that technical devices are becoming more and more “humanized,” the talk will ask the question of the “humanum” lying behind digital smart devices such as smart homes, smart factories or smart phones.
Today, humans have become attached to their technical devices on several levels: bodily, psychologically, socially, and also ideologically. Technologies ensnare us physically and mentally – they even complement us. But how exactly does that work? Are humans and machines not supposed to be fundamentally different? How do you design interfaces that realize such a problem-free interaction? If technology is adaptively adjusted to human beings and thus becomes both manageable and invisible to us in the designed interface, the criticism of anthropocentrism must take on a new level of reflection. Alongside the critique of a symmetrical anthropology, the focus must move to technical artifacts and arguments that consider the anthropological level. The problem of how the technical shapes the human (measurement, quantification, control, and discipline) must be expanded to include the question of how normative anthropological data shapes technical implementation.
The talk aims to point out that the “problem” of technology is therefore no longer an anthropocentric fear, but the intuitive use of technology. Modern technology has become too user-friendly. Anthropocentrism nests in our devices.