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Introduction

What is 'artificial intelligence'?
These days, artificial intelligence is a buzzword we see everywhere. According to some, AI is poised to put humans out of their jobs, and ready to solve all major social problems. The concept of AI is used to designate so many different processes, systems, devices, and ideas that it almost loses any real meaning. What is behind this buzzword and the so-called intelligent technologies and their functions? How do our historical and cultural legacies affect our understanding, hopes, and projections for the future of AI?
Earlier, AI has been seen as applied semiotics because it ventures to manipulate symbols or signs. At the same time, all computer systems—including AI—are essentially semiotic technologies, allowing for human cognition and agency to be extended, delegated and offloaded in various manners and at different scales.
This nextbook investigates the meaning of AI in the contemporary western society, the historicity and the impact of this concept on our everyday lives.
The e-course is based on the topics discussed in the Winter School on AI and Society (Palacký University Olomouc, January 16-20, 2023) and the PhD research of Auli Viidalepp.
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The European Commission's support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Last modified 6mo ago