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The Language of Digital Civilization in Progress: Tools and Impact

by eiga

Marklen Konurbaev – Professor of English Philology at Department of English Linguistics, Faculty of Philology, Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Lecture in English.

In the early noughties, human civilization came to perceive the language, very rightly, as the most powerful tool for society management and control. Indeed, language is our critical knowledge representation system that works uniquely as a toolset for building a distributed cognition environment. We have finally learned to separate the wheat from the chaff and tamed the language to serve our various cognitive needs exactly, by creating language templates, algorithms, rubricated thesauruses, glossaries and, eventually, natural language neural nets – a nightmare for the humanities. Hordes of redundant linguistic chores were replaced, much to the relief of content managers, by orderly and easily digestible cliches that do our communication job almost perfectly. But this, in its turn, affected man, who is increasingly transforming, not always very efficiently, into an element, increasingly replaceable, of a ‘manageable targeted communication system’ that gradually becomes a two directional environment, where language is effectively ‘optimized’ for higher recognizability during a communication process, while human beings, in their turn become less demanding with respect to the complexity of the communicated message. It is good for machine operated environment, however, it may not, and it will not end well for a human being. Are we facing the end of the unique human knowledge sharing experience that has been effectively delegated to machine algorithms, that are never too slow to process all required information backlogs? What is in store for us in these unusual circumstances, that have never been seen before. The answers are suggested in the lecture of a philologist and phenomenologist of speech, Professor Marklen Konurbaev, the author of the “Ontology and Phenomenology of Speech” at Palgrave McMillan.