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P115


Global socio-technical imaginaries of AI 
Convenors:
noopur raval (UCLA)
Mashinka Firunts Hakopian (ArtCenter College of Design)
Maya Indira Ganesh (University of Cambridge)
Xiaowei Wang (UCLA)
Shazeda Ahmed (University of California, Los Angeles)
Rida Qadri
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Chair:
Rida Qadri
Discussant:
Ranjit Singh (Data Society Research Institute)
Format:
Combined Format Open Panel

Short Abstract:

This combined open format panel curates a set of research presentations that discuss the various global socio-technical imaginaries of AI. The aim is to show how AI systems are being interpreted as social and political intermediaries and what futures they are enabling in turn.

Long Abstract:

In their introduction to the special issue titled “Future Imaginaries in the making and governing of Digital Technology…” Mager and Katzenbach argue how multiple contested visions and imaginaries of technological futures are always in the process of being articulated, “collectively held and institutionally stabilized.” The field of STS is rich with discussions of ‘sociotechnical imaginaries’ (Jasanoff and Kim, 2009, 2015) as an analytic that helps us attend to how techno-scientific development is constantly enrolled in and intertwined with global, national, governmental as well as communal visions of the future. For ‘Artificial Intelligence’ as well, visions for the future - imaginations of collective life after AI, policies for jobs, healthcare, education etc. are being performed through talk, metaphors, documents, advertisements, public and private deliberations and more. In that sense, how technical objects and systems eventually get stabilized as social artefacts requires unpacking the material, discursive and speculative work of future-making ongoing around them. Importantly, socio-technical imaginaries become key drivers of social, political and economic responses at macro and micro levels as they fuel utopic and dystopic visions of social life and serve as bellwethers of new opportunities or threats to collective and individual projects of crafting the good life.

This combined format open panel brings together a selection of scholars addressing the global socio-technical imaginaries of AI in formation. Scholars in this session will talk about the work of stabilizing AI objects as social, economic and political artefacts from various contexts spanning corporate innovation, arts practice, national security and rights discourses among others. The combined format panel will open with a ‘grounding’ introduction by panel facilitators and flow into dyadic conversations between panelists ending with an open conversation. Accepted panelists will be asked to submit a one-page position paper in preparation and are encouraged to bring multimedia artefacts to their presentations.

Accepted contributions: