Seminar #7. ‘AI imaginaries and their influence on the development of AI in Scandinavia’.

WhenWednesday 5 May, 2021, 13:00–14:30 (Central European Summer Time) on zoom (
PresentersMaja Horst (Professor | DTU Management, Denmark)
Gro Thorbjørn Berg Sørensen (PhD Candidate | DTU Management, Denmark)
Jesper Hinze (PhD Candidate | DTU Management, Denmark)
DiscussantSteve Woolgar (Professor | Linköping University, Sweden)
AbstractAI is expected to have transformative effects in many industries and in the public sphere as well. Simultaneously, voices in the public sphere consider AI a threat to social values and practices. This talk will present a research project dedicated to the study of the effects of such a highly charged public and policy communication environment on the conditions for AI innovation. The project adopts a perspective of studying innovation communication as an integrated part of the research and innovation process. Positive expectations about the future technology are necessary for the generation of resources, such as funding, legitimacy and human talent. At the same time, public imaginations of particular technological futures can have adverse effects, for instance on the political decision-making to allow, postpone or deny experimental use of big data or AI in public services. Communication is therefore not an add-on to AI development, but a constituent part of how technologies can and will be developed.

The project covers various areas such as the interrelationship between policy and media discourse, the influence of science fiction on imaginations of the future as well as cross-cultural sensemaking of innovation between Denmark, Europe and China. Following a broader introduction to the notion of innovation communication, the presentation will provide two examples of how to study the interrelationship between communication and innovation within AI: 1) Cinematic visions of AI and their integration into public discourse, and 2) Cross-cultural sensemaking on the ethics of AI.
QuestionsWhat is the landscape of public sense-making in which AI innovation takes place? What is the interrelationship between public media narratives and science fiction?
Recommended texts
ÓhÉigeartaigh, Seán S., Jess Whittlestone, Yang Liu, Yi Zeng, and Zhe Liu. “Overcoming Barriers To Cross Cultural Cooperation in Ethics and Governance.Philosophy & Technology 33, no. 4 (December 1, 2020): 571–93.

Cave, Stephen, and Kanta Dihal. “Hopes and Fears for Intelligent Machines in Fiction and Reality.” Nature Machine Intelligence 1, no. 2 (February 2019): 74–78.