Toward an Agent-Agnostic Transmission Model: Synthesizing Anthropocentric and Technocentric Paradigms in Communication

Jaime Banks, Maartje M.A. de Graaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Technological and social evolutions have prompted operational, phenomenological, and ontological shifts in communication processes. These shifts, we argue, trigger the need to regard human and machine roles in communication processes in a more egalitarian fashion. Integrating anthropocentric and technocentric perspectives on communication, we propose an agent-agnostic framework for human-machine communication. This framework rejects exclusive assignment of communicative roles (sender, message, channel, receiver) to traditionally held agents and instead focuses on evaluating agents according to their functions as a means for considering what roles are held in communication processes. As a first step in advancing this agent-agnostic perspective, this theoretical paper offers three potential criteria that both humans and machines could satisfy: agency, interactivity, and influence. Future research should extend our agent-agnostic framework to ensure that communication theory will be prepared to deal with an ostensibly machine-inclusive future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalHuman-Machine Communication
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • anthropocentrism
  • communicative functions
  • machine agency
  • meaning-making
  • technocentrism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Communication

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