Caché derrière les écrans : le littéraire entre l’humain et la machine. Comment les conditions matérielles et socio-économiques des technologies informatiques conditionnent les rhétoriques du discours numérique


The interaction between humans and digital machines is influenced by many different factors, that have an impact on the rhetorics that are used in the digital discourse. The aim of this article is to explore some of these factors with a particular attention to those that are usually hidden behind the screens: not just the algorithms and the affordances of digital services but also the historical, social and economical conditions that permeate software, platforms, networks and devices. To shed a light on how these factors operate means to deepen our critical understanding of what happens in the digital milieu when it comes to writing. We will draw from the works of Marcello Vitali-Rosati and Katherine Hayles on digital writing for a first theoretical framing; then we will explore some aspects of the role of Amazon in shaping contemporary writing and in revolutionizing the publishing industry (following the work of Mark McGurl); a brief analysis of the concept of linguistic capitalism will follow, based on the academic and artistic works by Pip Thornton. We will then open the reflection about authorship in the digital space before considering the challenges posed by the so-called creative artificial intelligence, with the example of the text 1 the road. To conclude, we will stress the importance of exploring the digital machine in order to better understand not just the machine itself but our relationship with it. Following the philosophical path laid out by Karen Barad and Katherine Hayles, we will open to the hypothesis of the need of a paradigm shift in the Humanities to include new forms of cognition in our analyses, starting from the cognition of the digital machine.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v62p95

Keywords: writing; digital technologies; rhetorics of the digital discourse; artificial intelligence; cognition


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