AI beyond Deus ex Machina

Reimagining Intelligence in Future Cities with Urban Experts

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The current mechanisms that drive the development of AI technologies are widely criticized for being tech-oriented and market-led instead of stemming from societal challenges. In Human-Centered AI discourses, and more broadly in Human-Computer Interaction research, initiatives have been proposed to engage experts from various domains of social science in determining how AI should reach our societies, predominantly through informing the adoption policies. Our contribution, however, seeks a more essential role for social sciences, namely to introduce discursive standpoints around what we need AI to be. With a focus on the domain of urbanism, the specific goal has been to elicit - from interviews with 16 urban experts - the imaginaries of how AI can and should impact future cities. Drawing on the social science literature, we present how the notion of "imaginary"has essentially framed this research and how it could reveal an alternative vision of non-human intelligent actors in future cities.