Public Perceptions and Artificial Intelligence

The unclear nature of emerging technologies like AI makes users unsure about what this new technology is, how it will perform, and how it will impact society. Even research discussing the “societal implications” of AI often takes a techno-optimist or a techno-pessimist angle.

A wide array of possibly conflicting meanings, technological frames, and thoughts regarding the emerging technology typically surfaces. We’ve been able to see much of AI-related talk on the news lately. Ultimately, these discussions shape technological trajectories.

We could say that the future development of an emerging technology like artificial intelligence is facilitated or hindered by a shared understanding or perception of AI.

Think, for example, about the deflated hype around nuclear power or gene technology: they are similar emerging technologies that brought about exceptional, futuristic opportunities for society and businesses, but ultimately got marginalized due to severe criticism.