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Silicon Valley's "AI Revolution": A revolutionary narrative serving the status quo

Tabel, Jule (2022) Silicon Valley's "AI Revolution": A revolutionary narrative serving the status quo.

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Abstract:Revolutionary narratives about technology emerge from Silicon Valley on a regular basis. Most of the time it remains, however, unclear what kind of revolution it is referred to and whether a classification of the technology of interest justified. This paper critically investigates the most recent revolutionary narrative of Silicon Valley: the “AI Revolution”. Based on scientific literature AI does not present a social, political, industrial nor as scientific revolution. A qualitative content analysis, conducted on 177 blogposts, press releases, as well as newspaper and magazine articles reflecting the narrative, reveals the portrayal of the “AI Revolution” as industrial revolution. The narrative equally reflects language related to political revolutions and the prospect of a social revolution and is structured by capitalist and Enlightenment thinking as well as technological determinism. Ultimately, the conservative character of the narrative is uncovered in response to the question “To what extent can Silicon Valley’s alleged ‘AI Revolution’ be typified as a revolution?” and finally reveals that the “AI Revolution”. The narrative of the “AI Revolution” not only masks the reinforcement of existing social and economic dynamics by AI. It also fosters trust and investment in Silicon Valley companies, consolidating their economic and cultural power.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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