ElliotMJones

2Joined Nov 2018

Comments
1

Thank you! This is really helpful in clarifying the governance 'pipeline' and thinking about where my own works fits into this. This comment is on what others activities and actors could be included, specially journalists, media organisations and other 'cultural' influencers and activities. This comment is based on skimming the piece and on my own intuitions rather than digging too deeply into the evidence base around the role of media and cultural institutions in shaping policy and governance, so might have already considered them and decided there was insufficient evidence to include them.

The map seems to underplay the role of media and cultural actors acting with their own agency, rather than as being influenced by civil society, corporations and government. I can see why they might not be included as their role feels almost one step back from the activities of advocacy, company internal coalition-building, and public relations & communications as you’ve identified them. But their role does seem worth at least nodding to and exploring further.

For example, the section on public relations & comms talks about PR firms, creatives, in-house comms teams but these all seem like industry actors operating on behalf of the AI companies. But another side of the information environment these teams are trying to influence will be media organisations. These organisations will be influenced by those corporate teams but at the same time have their own agendas and leverage their own influence to shape policy outcomes, e.g. Rupert Murdoch’s influence in politics across multiple countries. Investigative reporting by journalists also seems to have the ability to influence opinion among the public and elites, and set the agenda for policymakers.

At another level further back in influencing change, it seems like artists, documentary makers, musicians, popular writers etc. are able to raise the salience of issues among the public and elites through their cultural work. They can both create narratives that might be more intuitive and compelling to non-experts about the importance of an issue and in using their pre-existing popularity to make an issue more visible to their followers. For example, Al Gore’s 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth on climate change or the activism by footballer Marcus Rashford on free schools meals in the UK during the pandemic. This feels like an even more indirect route to influencing governance and I’m unsure how impactful it might be in pushing things in a particular direction when it comes to AI, but cultural actors like Asimov, Iain M Banks or (as cliché as it is) the Terminator have seemingly influenced how the public, developers and policymakers view AI, it does seem like another possible omission from the map.

I’m not sure about the magnitude of the interventions by these actors, and whether some of these actions just folded into existing activities, particularly journalists into advocacy, but it does seem at least worth exploring the influence these actors can have.