In this introduction to the fourth volume of the journal Human-Machine Communication, we present and discuss the nine articles selected for inclusion. In this essay, we aim to frame some crucial psychological, sociological, and cultural aspects of this field of research. In particular, we situate the current scholarship from a historical perspective by (a) discussing humanity’s long walk with hybridity and otherness, at both the cultural and individual development levels, (b) considering how the organization of capital, labor, and gender relations serve as fundamental context for understanding HMC in the present day, and (c) contextualizing the development of the HMC field in light of seismic, contemporary shifts in society and the social sciences. We call on the community of researchers, students, and practitioners to ask the big questions, to ground research and theory in the past as well as the real and unfolding lifeworld of human-machine communication (including what HMC may become), and to claim a seat at the table during the earliest phases in design, testing, implementation, law and policy, and ethics to intervene for social good.



Author ORCID Identifier

Leopoldina Fortunati 0000-0001-9691-6870

Autumn Edwards 0000-0002-5963-197X