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15:00 – 16:15


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The Utrecht University will close the Centre for Digital Humanities Spring program 2022 with an online lecture by Assistant Professor Dennis Nguyen on ‘The news framing of Artificial Intelligence: A critical exploration of how media discourses make sense of automation’.


Analysing how news media portray Artificial Intelligence (AI) reveals what interpretative frameworks around the technology circulate in public discourses. This allows for critical reflections on the making of meaning in prevalent narratives about AI and its impact. While research on the public perception of datafication and automation is growing, only a few studies investigate news framing practices. The present study connects to this nascent research area by charting AI news frames in four internationally renowned media outlets: The New York Times, The Guardian, Wired, and Gizmodo. The main goals are to identify dominant emphasis frames in AI news reporting over the past decade, to explore whether certain AI frames are associated with specific data risks (surveillance, data bias, cyberwar/cybercrime, information disorder), and what journalists and experts contribute to the media discourse. An automated content analysis serves for inductive frame detection (N=3098), identification of risk references (dictionary-based), and network analysis of news writers. The results show how AI’s ubiquity emerged rapidly in the mid-2010s, and that the news discourse became more critical over time. It is further argued that AI news reporting is an important factor in building critical data literacy among lay audiences.

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