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Title: Imagining the thinking machine: Technological myths and the rise of artificial intelligence
Authors: Natale, Simone
Ballatore, Andrea
Keywords: Artificial Intelligence
History of computing
Intelligent machines
Media imaginary
New media
Scientific controversies
Software studies
Technological myth
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: SAGE © The Author(s)
Citation: NATALE, S. and BALLATORE, A., 2017. Imagining the thinking machine: Technological myths and the rise of artificial intelligence. Convergence, doi:10.1177/1354856517715164.
Abstract: This article discusses the role of technological myths in the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies from 1950s to the early 1970s. It shows how the rise of AI was accompanied by the construction of a powerful cultural myth: the creation of a thinking machine, which would be able to perfectly simulate the cognitive faculties of the human mind. Based on a content analysis of articles on Artificial Intelligence published in two magazines, the Scientific American and the New Scientist, which were aimed at a broad readership of scientists, engineers, and technologists, three dominant patterns in the construction of the AI myth are identified: (1) the recurrence of analogies and discursive shifts, by which ideas and concepts from other fields were employed to describe the functioning of AI technologies; (2) a rhetorical use of the future, imagining that present shortcomings and limitations will shortly be overcome; (3) the relevance of controversies around the claims of AI, which we argue should be considered as an integral part of the discourse surrounding the AI myth.
Description: This paper was accepted for publication in the journal Convergence and the definitive published version is available at https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856517715164.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1177/1354856517715164
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/25221
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856517715164
ISSN: 1354-8565
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Social Sciences)

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