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AI and Society

DIGSUM's group for AI and society is focused on analysing and understanding the social implications of artificial intelligence and autonomous systems. We approach this area of study drawing on interdiciplinary social science expertise.

As artificial intelligence systems are applied to a growing number of societal arenas, they influence significant aspects of the social lives of humans.

The transformation happens across major sectors and dimensions such as politics, education, health care, law, criminal justice, business, employment, work life, and the media. Because of this, the role and impact of AI systems in relation to individuals, populations, as well as national and global agendas, is a priority for social science research in the 21st century.

When it comes to AI, the social and cultural tranformations are more far-reaching than the merely technological ones. This poses great challenges and opportunities for social science.

As of today, the vast majority of AI and autonomous systems are implemented with a minimum of social considerations taken, and with few accountability mechanisms and minimal research into their broader implications. There is a pressing need for developing new, social scientific, approaces to measuring and assessing AI's societal implications as these systems are rapidly becoming integrated into core social institutions.

Our AI and Society group operates, through a number of projects, to develop research that will help ensure that future artificial intelligence and autonomous systems will be more sensitive to the complex social domains where they are used.

We arrange seminars, events, and courses, and work to create opportunities for social researchers at Umeå University to deploy their expertise in relation to issues of AI and automation.

Coordinator