Negotiating the authenticity of AI: how the discourse on AI rejects human indeterminacy

AI and Society:1-14 (forthcoming)
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In this paper, we demonstrate how the language and reasonings that academics, developers, consumers, marketers, and journalists deploy to accept or reject AI as authentic intelligence has far-reaching bearing on how we understand our human intelligence and condition. The discourse on AI is part of what we call the “authenticity negotiation process” through which AI’s “intelligence” is given a particular meaning and value. This has implications for scientific theory, research directions, ethical guidelines, design principles, funding, media attention, and the way people relate to and act upon AI. It also has great impact on humanity’s self-image and the way we negotiate what it means to be human, existentially, culturally, politically, and legally. We use a discourse analysis of academic papers, AI education programs, and online discussions to demonstrate how AI itself, as well as the products, services, and decisions delivered by AI systems are negotiated as authentic or inauthentic intelligence. In this negotiation process, AI stakeholders indirectly define and essentialize what being human(like) means. The main argument we will develop is that this process of indirectly defining and essentializing humans results in an elimination of the space for humans to be indeterminate. By eliminating this space and, hence, denying indeterminacy, the existential condition of the human being is jeopardized. Rather than re-creating humanity in AI, the AI discourse is re-defining what it means to be human and how humanity is valued and should be treated.



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Ciano Aydin
University of Twente

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