AI & SOCIETY

, Volume 14, Issue 3–4, pp 411–439 | Cite as

Culture-bound technological solutions: An artificial-theoretic insight

Open Forum

Abstract

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'sTheory 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).

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Computing and Mathematical SciencesUniversity of GreenwichLondonUK

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