Artificial Intelligence in National Media: How the North-South Divide Matters

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för informatik och media

Abstract: This study addresses the issue of how discourses around Artificial Intelligence have been presentedin national media. To explore this topic, I analyze news articles to identify narratives and imaginariesthat contribute to building the concept of AI from a North-South perspective. To attempt toanswer these questions, I have selected two different countries to gather the data from, one in theGlobal North (Sweden) and one in the Global South (Chile). However, both are located in thesame “Large/Medium” cluster when combining land area and population.Drawing on data collected from 103 news articles, I found that in both cases, AI is presented asa positive tool for the development of local and global economies. Furthermore, AI is seen asdriving the creation of exciting and disruptive businesses. However, my analysis shows that thereis uncertainty about the future of the current status quo, both regarding the labor market and thecurrent geopolitical power balance if China were to win the so-called ‘AI race.’The data was coded and analyzed using a combination of critical discourse analysis and a dataextractivism and the approach introduced by Sheila Jasanoff, the sociotechnical imaginaries. Theseperspectives can help to understand the relations between scientific and technological projects,and political institutions and power. Throughout the sample, the hegemonic (dominant) voice prevailedthrough discussions of the economy having a particular North-centric representation.This is important to explore as it can shed light on whether this new technology is to providereal opportunities or if it is replicating the power relations of the globalized world. In this sense,the study also criticizes the sociotechnological imaginaries since, despite the fact that they proposea local view of power relations, they confirm that technological developments are often subject toglobal, political and corporate planning, regardless of the particular reality of each country.

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