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Abstract

In his article "The Racial Formation of Chatbots" Mark C. Marino introduces electronic literature known as chatbot or conversation agent. These programs are all around us from automated help centers to smartphones (e.g., Siri). These conversation agents are often represented as text or disembodied voices. However, when programmers give them a body or the representation of a body (partial or full), other aspects of their identity become more apparent—particularly their racial or ethnic identity. Marino explores the ways racial identity is constructed through the embodied performance of chatbots and what that indicates for human identity construction on the internet.