Global AI Narratives (CFI, University of Cambridge)

Global AI Narratives Tokyo Workshop 2018.9.12

Global AI Narratives (CFI, University of Cambridge) since 2018

The impact of artificial intelligence will be truly global, and managing it for the benefit of all will require international, cross-cultural collaboration. But different cultures see AI through very different lenses. Diverse religious, linguistic, philosophical, literary and cinematic traditions have led to diverging conceptions of intelligent machines. To build trust across cultures we must understand these different ways of seeing what AI can and should be.

The Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge, in collaboration with the Royal Society in London, launched the AI Narratives research project in 2017 to investigate how the ways we talk and think about AI influence its development and regulation. The project has so far begun the work of collating and analysing the AI narratives prevalent in North America and Europe. We are now seeking to build academic partnerships around the world with whom to explore how narrative traditions in other regions have shaped both popular hopes and fears for AI, and how this influenced the local development and implementation of technology.

We aim to mobilise scholars around the world to gather and present their cultures’ narratives of what AI is and the role it should play in our lives. Research on these narratives will be shared in a series of workshops, and later in widely available academic publications and public interventions. Each workshop will take place in a different region, and disseminate its respective findings to each other and to our North American and European partners. In each workshop, which will be one or two days in length, we aim to invite an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners from fields related to AI narratives, such as media scholars, artists, AI researchers, philosophers, and anthropologists.

The outputs of these workshops would be collected into reports and other media, and will eventually culminate in an edited book to be published with a top academic publisher in 2021.


  • Summer 2018: workshop 1 – East Asia
  • Fall 2018: workshop 2 – Africa
  • Winter 2018: workshop 3 – South America
  • Spring 2019: workshop 4 – South Asia

Each of these workshops would be followed by a report  2021: Publish edited book on Global AI Narratives

Current Partners

Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, University of Cambridge, UK. Dr Stephen Cave (Executive Director & Project Lead), Dr Sarah Dillon (Project Lead), Dr Kanta Dihal (Postdoctoral Researcher & Research Project Coordinator).

 The Royal Society, London, UK. Dr Claire Craig (Project Lead).

 Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan. Professor Toshie Takahashi.