Is artificial intelligence a metaphor, or can machines be intelligent in the same way human beings are? This has been a contested question ever since the concept was developed. While the so-called weak AI thesis has treated it as a metaphor, the strong AI thesis does take intelligence literally. The answer to this question might point to the future role of intelligent machines in the digital society. This article is part of an ongoing series on the politics of metaphors in the Digital Society. The series is edited by Christian Katzenbach (HIIG) and Stefan Larsson (Lund University Internet Institute).