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Anticipating AI Impact in a Diverse Society: Developing a Scenario-Based, Diversity-Sensitive Method to Evaluate the Societal Impact of AI-Systems and Regulations

Nick DiakopoulosPI: Nicholas Diakopoulos

Professor in Communication Studies and Computer Science
Northwestern University


Natali HelbergerPI: Natali Helberger

Professor in Law and Digital Technology
University of Amsterdam


Evaluation iconFramework component: Evaluation

Anticipating the impacts of new AI technology in society is at the crux of efforts to understand, advance, and govern its safety. However, doing so is fundamentally difficult. The evolution of various technical, social, policy conditions can modulate the direction of sociotechnical development in uncertain ways. But with prospections of the future come opportunities for agency, control, and forward-looking responsibility that are crucial to orienting stakeholders towards opportunities to steer the technology and be well-prepared to observe, measure, and ultimately evaluate its impact.

As is well-known in the business literature, prospections (often expressed as written scenarios) effectively serve as orienting devices in decision-making. The goal is not future prediction, but rather helping to perceive potential futures in the present, as well as developing forward-looking evaluation frameworks. Many diverse perspectives will ultimately paint a far more nuanced and faithful picture of future AI impact and safety issues. This project proposes to develop a method to anticipate the impacts of new AI technologies by engaging carefully chosen diverse sets of stakeholders in envisioning those impacts through scenario writing activities.

Key Personnel

Kimon KieslichKimon Kieslich
University of Amsterdam Institute for Information Law


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