Opinion & Analysis

AI is political – let’s use it to really transform society

AI will definitely shape our far-off future but it’s also already shaping our society today. Having regulation is crucial, but we must also shape innovation to match our aspirations. To succeed, it is crucial to understand the nature of this technology.

It seems easy to make the argument that AI is a transformative technology, and that it inevitably triggers change. It will (and does) change the way we manufacture products, diagnose diseases, undertake creative work, as well as how we receive information and which pieces of information we get to see.

Such an AI-led transformation would come at just the right time – our society is in dire need of it. We’re due to miss all international climate goals, authoritarianism is on the rise, and violent conflicts seem ubiquitous. In the midst of all these crises, we find remarkable strides in AI development and we place great hope in it.

When we dream about AI’s transformative power we overlook though that AI is the product of a specific context and specific communities (poleis). The philosophy of technology teaches us that ‘technology is society made durable.’

AI is no exception.

About the Author
Paula Gürtler is Researcher in the Global Governance, Regulation, Innovation and Digital Economy (GRID) unit at CEPS.


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