Accepted paper:

Policy framing of risks and opportunities of an emerging technology: the case of Artificial Intelligence


Inga Ulnicane (De Montfort University)
Bernd Stahl (De Montfort University)
Tyr Fothergill (De Montfort University)

Paper short abstract:

The aim of this paper is to study framing of an emerging technology of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in policy documents of the European Union institutions and stakeholders, and compare it with discourses at the national level and other regions including the US, UK and China.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years, AI has been playing an increasing role in almost all areas of life from jobs to education, social services, finances and military. It is framed as a transformative and disruptive technology and associated not only with great opportunities but also with major ethical concerns related to social inequality, transparency and accountability. In this context, the European Union institutions and stakeholders are defining their policy visions and recommendations on opportunities and risks that AI presents in the EU context. Against this background, this paper applies approaches and concepts from studies of emerging technologies (in particular, sociology of expectations, hypes and promises) to study framing of AI and associated risks and opportunities in the policy documents from the EU institutions and stakeholders as well as to compare it with discourses at the national level and other regions. In particular, the paper analyses how the positive and negative expectations are framed over a number of areas such as jobs, education, healthcare and military. Furthermore, it maps out recommendations for legislation, regulation, resource allocation and awareness to facilitate the development AI according to 'European values' of inclusiveness, sustainability and human rights. Framing of AI is analysed within the context of established EU science, technology and innovation policy discourses of competitiveness, responsibility, societal challenges in risks.

panel F11
Technopolitics of integration. Charting imaginaries of innovation in the European Union