AI narratives: shaping public debate, policy and cultural responses to the future of artificial intelligence

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The ‘AI Narratives’ project investigated the representation of artificial intelligence (AI) in fictional and non-fictional narratives and led to impact on policy, society, culture and media.

The project’s interdisciplinary research explored how AI has been and is currently portrayed in fictional and non-fictional narratives, incorporating methodologies and insights from, and contributing to, literature and science studies, science fiction studies, science communication studies, and history of science.

Researchers Sarah Dillon and Kanta Dihal aimed to raise global awareness of the power of AI narratives, and to encourage public attention to the role they play in the research, regulation and reception of AI technologies.

The project has resulted in media appearances, public-facing fora and popular publications, participation in cross-sector dialogue, and collaboration with a range of stakeholders, including Boeing and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

It has also alerted policymakers and industrial partners to the influence of narratives on perception of AI technologies, and to their importance for the development of public policy and regulation. It also engaged with other beneficiaries – including media professionals, creative practitioners, scientists, and citizens – to enhance critical reflection on AI narratives and AI itself.