The discursive and political construction of AI
Talk about Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently abundant. Commentators, politicians, start-up founders make us believe that AI will change how we live, communicate, work and travel tomorrow. Both companies and states proclaim to partake in a global AI race. New products and innovations promise magical results powered by AI and national AI strategies pop up all around the globe,
identifying opportunities and risks that go along AI development.
This project takes the AI hype seriously – not necessarily because it is well substantiated, but because the expectations and investments it generates are real. AI as a cluster of technologies and as a sociotechnical imaginary is currently being institutionalized in our societies. It won’t go away (for quite some time), and we will come to take it for granted. But what exactly we take for granted is still contested. Are we ready to change our cities in order to cater to autonomous vehicles? Shall hate speech on platforms be automatically be filtered away like spam in email? What degree of autonomy do we want to grant automatic decision systems? The ways we imagine these technologies and think about our futures shape decisions and developments in the present. This is why the hype matters, notwithstanding its substance.
This project empirically investigates the discursive and political construction of AI in contemporary societies. We have started with small-scale preliminary studies on the media discourse in Germany as well as on select national AI strategies. We are now partnering with research organizations in Canada, Israel, Switzerland and the United Kingdom in order to deploy encompassing comparative studies across regions, sectors and time.
|Duration||since October 2018|
Christian Katzenbach, Dr.Co-head of research programme: The Development of the Digital Society
Cornelius Puschmann, Dr.Associated Researcher: The evolving digital society
Falk Stratenwerth-NeunzigStudent assistant: The evolving digital society
Jascha BareisFormer Student assistant: The evolving digital society