This chapter argues that narratives about artificial intelligence (AI) have a major impact on science, policy, and society. These imaginaries of intelligent machines matter because they form the backdrop against which AI systems are being developed, and against which these developments are interpreted and assessed. The authors show how this book explores the way AI narratives have addressed, and offer sophisticated thinking about, some of the legitimate concerns that AI technologies now raise, such as loss of skills because of automation, replacement of the workforce by machines, and their role in perpetuating systems of oppression. At the same time, this book intervenes in a landscape in which prevalent AI narratives are mistrusted or criticized, for example, for their extremism, utopian or dystopian, or for their misrepresentation of current technology, for instance, in their tendency to focus on anthropomorphic representations.
Keywords: Artificial intelligence, narratives, science fiction, science and technology studies, sociotechnical imaginaries, dystopia, anthropomorphism, AI ethics, literature and science, public understanding of science
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