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Accepted Paper:

Global automated futures: Promissory narratives in the Chinese AI industry  
Gabriele de Seta (University of Bergen)

Paper Short Abstract:

Drawing on a comparative study of Chinese tech companies that offer artificial intelligence products, this presentation examines the promissory imaginaries that emerge from China's artificial intelligence industry and charts their international afterlife through observations in the European context.

Paper Abstract:

The development of digital infrastructure is an important component of China's "going out" effort in global influence. Domestically, digital infrastructure is seen as a key driver of future economic growth and societal modernization; internationally, China's leading role in infrastructure-building and standard-setting is touted as a sign of the country's global ascendancy. Future-oriented imaginaries are particularly evident in the domain of artificial intelligence (AI), which includes industrial automation, logistics, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, and consumer products. On the one hand, AI technologies play a key role in "sino-futurist" narratives that connect China's future with unrivaled speed in technological advancement; on the other, everyday discussions of these technologies rely on sinofuturist imaginaries, reinforcing the self-fulfilling prophecy of China's role in global automated futures. Drawing on a comparative study of Chinese tech companies that offer artificial intelligence products, this presentation examines the promissory imaginaries that emerge from China's artificial intelligence industry and charts their international afterlives through observations in the European context. By identifying and charting the circulation of sinofuturist tropes in the Chinese AI industry and their global reach, I argue for the need to critically examine how promissory narratives about technology are constructed and how their consolidation is connected to the global politics of time and speed.

Panel P064
Temporal encounters with global China
  Session 2 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -