And Say the AI Responded?


Datum: måndag 3 oktober 2022

Tid: 13.00 – 14.30

Plats: B600

Forskarseminarium med Emma Dahlin, Stockholms Universitet


With the introduction of artificial intelligence,boundaries are renegotiated around the notions of ‘machine’, ‘self’, and ‘autonomous’. This complicates technology-human relations in ways for which we do not yet have a theoretical understanding or empirical insight. Drawing upon multispecies studies engagement with otherness and science and technology studies insight on analytical symmetry, this paper develops the notion of distribution of attributes as an analytical tool for exploring AI-human relations.  Distribution of attributes turns attention to the ongoing exchange of attributes between nonhumans and humans, opening up ‘regimes of action’ for analysis. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork of a medical practice where a robotic AI system is set to cooperate with medical staff, the paper explores AI-human distribution of attributes in practice. The paper adds to debates on a ‘politics of the other(s)’ with an empirical analysis of AI-human real-world encounters, proposing a theoretical foundation upon which a new AI politics can be developed.
Keywords: STS, AI, multispecies studies, politics of the other(s), distribution of attributes


Emma Dahlin is a researcher at the Department of Social Anthropology, Stockholm University. Dahlin’s research explores technology-human relations at the intersect of anthropology, philosophy, and science and technology studies (STS). She is currently leading a research project on the use and development of artificial intelligence (AI) in medical practice, funded by the Swedish Research Council. Dahlin has previously been a Vetenskapsrådet International Postdoc scholar at TEMA (Technology and Social Change), Linköping University, and the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz.