The emergence of the post-narrativity in the era of artificial intelligence: A non-anthropocentric cybersemiotics of literary machines

Authors: Sung-Do Kim (Korea University, South Korea)
Jin-Young Lee (Korea University, South Korea)
Speakers: Sung-Do Kim, Jin-Young Lee
Topic: Narrative and Metanarrative
COMELA 2020 General Session


In the era of artificial intelligence the writing machines or even robot writers already began to produce the texts of all sorts, including the novels and the poems. In fact, the digital revolution is first of all a linguistic, narrative and semiotic revolution. In this paper we will try to construct a non anthropocentric cybersemiotics on the new paradigm of the post-narrativity through a critical examination of the following key points : the agency of writing in the digital era, literary creativity and its relation to algorithmic combinatorics of natural languages, different accounts of literacy machines. Drawing on non-anthropocentric cybersemiotics inspired by the works of Hayles and Latour’s concept of the nonhuman actor as mediator, this work will focus on how the process of digital writing machine could be inscribed in a complex set of non-anthropocentric and posthuman semiotic practices.
The implications of this radical epistemological change to the notion of singular, stable, exclusively human agentivity of writing and subjective authorship will be discussed, concluding that a non-anthropocentric reconceptualization of digital writing machines serves to deconstruct the humanistic and anthropocentric belief systems that have framed our understanding of the writing in general and the narrative creativity in particular. This non-anthropocentric vision of extended writing in the era of artificial intelligence will also lead to a paradigmatic disruption of taken-for-granted binaries across digital and embodied signifying practices in textual and narrative production and semiosis.

In this framework of the post-narrativity, I will also examine the relationships between the narrative-media and pandemics of the Covid-19 in the Mediterranean and European context in advancing an account of the transmediated knowledges and meanings of these totally non-linear and collapsing narratives. This attempt to addressed the shifting boundness of the anthroponcentric narrativity might be inscribed in the main problemetics of the COMELA 2020.

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Keywords: post-narrativity, non-anthropocentric semiotics of writing, literary machines