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AI & SOCIETY

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 9–17 | Cite as

Is it possible to grow an I–Thou relation with an artificial agent? A dialogistic perspective

  • Stefan Trausan-MatuEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

The paper analyzes if it is possible to grow an I–Thou relation in the sense of Martin Buber with an artificial, conversational agent developed with Natural Language Processing techniques. The requirements for such an agent, the possible approaches for the implementation, and their limitations are discussed. The relation of the achievement of this goal with the Turing test is emphasized. Novel perspectives on the I–Thou and I–It relations are introduced according to the sociocultural paradigm and Mikhail Bakhtin’s dialogism, polyphony inter-animation, and carnavalesque. The polyphonic model, the associated analysis method, and the support tools are introduced. Some ideas on how the polyphonic model may be used for the implementation of a computer application able to analyze some features of the existence of an I–Thou relation are included.

Keywords

I–Thou Conversational agent Dialogism Polyphonic model Inter-animation Empathy 

Notes

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank to Gerry Stahl for his encouragement in my research toward the development of the polyphonic model and analysis method starting from Bakhtin’s ideas. I also want to thank to the anonymous reviewers for their useful recommendations.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity Politehnica of BucharestBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Romanian Academy Research Institute for Artificial IntelligenceBucharestRomania

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