Bakhtinian Dialogic as a Framework for Human/AI Co-Learning

Beau Johnson
Nov 6, 2020 · 3 min read

Companionship is not dictated by ultimatums in a vertically stratified relationship. Companionship is a socially forged identity between individuals based on implicit mutually beneficial factors that adapt and mature based on the needs of the relationship. A successful human relationship with an AI Companion has the same requirements as social companionship between humans. The co-creation of this human/AI relationship needs to be nurtured and explored in order to create a companionship that is essentially a third entity where all participants (human and AI) continue to adapt and meet each other’s needs. The definition of “self” in the companion relationship is challenged/redefined in the cooperative engagement process. The results extend beyond the ever-growing personalized companionship into the individuals’ social and interaction spheres.

Bakhtin emphasized the tendency of humans to create individual meaning from interactions with text, media, and each other. The nature of all human interaction is a dialogue and each individual creates a personal interpretation that manifest as overt expressions, conscious engagement, reflex reactions, or subconscious analysis.

“The nature of human life itself, in dialogue a person participates wholly and throughout his whole life: with his eyes, lips, hands, soul, spirit, with his whole body.”

Bakhtin, M. M. (1984) Problems of Dostoevsky’s Poetics. Edited and translated by Caryl Emerson. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press

Individuals create a social vocabulary that is unique based on their personal dialogue with the world around them. Bakhtin analyzed academic structures and the act of reading as an example of how regardless of the delivery of information, the recipient is in dialogue with the incoming concepts and reframing them based on personal experience and social vocabulary. In a conversation between two people, these perspectives coagulate meaning and expressions of perspective in external and internal dialogues creating a new shared identity based on their social interaction. Dialogue occurs in conversation, in reading a text (or interacting with an AI Companion), and especially in how individuals (consciously or not) adapt the new pathways created in the social dialogic identity into their own internal vocabulary.

This is the core of learning.

This is the basis of how humans create relationships.

Dialogic interaction is exactly how humans will successfully build on-going, adaptive, and mutually beneficial relationships with AI Companions.

Co-Learning with an AI is a transformative experience for all participants. It creates new experiences and learning paths that allow new vocabularies and understandings across all involved, contextual participants and environments. These new literacies and expressions contribute to the growth of the personalized cooperative experience and the greater social lexicon of interaction.