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Culture-bound technological solutions: An artificial theoretic insight

Culture-bound technological solutions: An artificial theoretic insight

Nissan, Ephraim (2000) Culture-bound technological solutions: An artificial theoretic insight. AI & Society: Knowledge, Culture and Communication, 14 (3-4). pp. 411-439. ISSN 0951-5666 (Print), 1435-5655 (Online) (doi:

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Sometimes, technological solutions to practical problems are devised that conspicuously take into account the constraints to which a given culture is subjecting the particular task or the manner in which it is carried out. The culture may be a professional culture (e.g., the practice of law), or an ethnic-cum-professional culture (e.g., dance in given ethnic cultures from South-East Asia), or, again, a denominational culture prescribing an orthopraxy impinging on everyday life through, for example, prescribed abstinence from given categories of workday activities, or dietary laws.

Massimo Negrotti's Theory of the artificial is a convenient framework for discussing some of these techniques. We discuss a few examples, but focus on the contrast of two that are taken from the same cultural background, namely, technological applications in compliance with Jewish Law orthopraxy.

•Soya-, mycoprotein- or otherwise derived meat surrogates are an example ofnaturoid; they emulate the flavours and olfactory properties, as well as the texture and the outer and inner appearance, of the meat product (its kind, cut, form) they set out to emulate (including amenability to cooking in the usual manner for the model), while satisfying cultural dietary prohibitions.

•In contrast, the Sabbath Notebook, a writing surrogate we describe in this paper, is atechnoid: it emulates a technique (writing to store alphanumeric information), while satisfying the prohibition of writing at particular times of the liturgical calendar (the Sabbath and the major holidays).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: technological solutions, artificial intelligence
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences
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Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:00

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