Reframing AI Discourse

Deborah Johnson, Mario Verdicchio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
365 Downloads (Pure)


A critically important ethical issue facing the AI research community is how AI research and AI products can be responsibly conceptualised and presented to the public. A good deal of fear and concern about uncontrollable AI is now being displayed in public discourse. Public understanding of AI is being shaped in a way that may ultimately impede AI research. The public discourse as well as discourse among AI researchers leads to at least two problems: a confusion about the notion of ‘autonomy’ that induces people to attribute to machines something comparable to human autonomy, and a ‘sociotechnical blindness’ that hides the essential role played by humans at every stage of the design and deployment of an AI system. Here our purpose is to develop and use a language with the aim to reframe the discourse in AI and shed light on the real issues in the discipline.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575–590
Number of pages16
JournalMinds and Machines
Issue number4
Early online date9 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Socio-technical Systems
  • Philosophy of Technology


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