From Hephaestus’s golden servants to Karel Čapek’s Roboti, we have been imagining intelligent machines since long before we could build them. As artificial intelligence and robotics begin to fulfil their promise, they therefore arrive pre-loaded with meaning, sparking associations -- and media attention -- disproportionate to their capacities.
This matters: how we talk about new technologies and their risks and benefits can significantly influence their development, regulation and place in public opinion. Balancing AI’s potential and its pitfalls therefore requires navigating this web of associations.
CFI and the Royal Society have therefore launched the AI Narratives Project to explore how AI is currently portrayed, what impact that might be having, and what we can learn from how other complex, novel technologies have been communicated. It will include a series of interdisciplinary workshops, culminating in a report and recommendations.