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New article by ZeMKI Member Cornelius Puschmann and Jean Burgess: The Metaphors of Big Data

The article will be published in French translation in the book "RHÉTORIQUES, MÉTAPHORES ET TECHNOLOGIES NUMÉRIQUES" (RHETORICS, METAPHORS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES) on June 08.

The development of computer technologies, exemplified by the networked city, big data, and artificial intelligence, is supported by a series of discourses with persuasive goals. With the help of various linguistic procedures, rhetorical figures and strategies, these argumentations aim in particular to legitimize the increasing digitalization of societies. Metaphors play a crucial role in this. Although they can have an aesthetic or pedagogical function, they can also take on an ideological role, conveying certain moral and political values and distracting us from fundamental challenges. The well-known example of the computer cloud metaphor conveys an almost ideal vision of digital technology and, unfortunately, helps to convince us of the "immaterial" nature of networks and computer systems. The character's light and hazy imagery obscures the extent of the ecological catastrophe associated with developments in digital technology.

"RHÉTORIQUES, MÉTAPHORES ET TECHNOLOGIES NUMÉRIQUES" presents several studies on the deconstruction of metaphors used to describe new technologies and captures the ethical importance of carefully examining argumentative discourses on mass data, smart city, robotics, video games, and more broadly, the digital.

Cornelius Puschmann's article was written in collaboration with Jean Burgess, Associate Director of the ARC National Centre of Excellence for Automated Decision-Making and Society. 

Access to the book can be found via the following link:  

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