Beyond the Hype: ‘Acceptable Futures’ for AI and Robotic Technologies in Healthcare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

AI and robotic technologies attract much hype, including utopian and dystopian future visions of technologically driven provision in the health and care sectors. Based on 30 interviews with scientists, clinicians and other stakeholders in the UK, Europe, USA, Australia, and New Zealand, this paper interrogates how those engaged in developing and using AI and robotic applications in health and care characterize their future promise, potential and challenges. We explore the ways in which these professionals articulate and navigate a range of high and low expectations, and promissory and cautionary future visions, around AI and robotic technologies. We argue that, through these articulations and navigations, they construct their own perceptions of socially and ethically ‘acceptable futures’ framed by an ‘ethics of expectations.’ This imbues the envisioned futures with a normative character, articulated in relation to the present context. We build on existing work in the sociology of expectations, aiming to contribute towards better understanding of how technoscientific expectations are navigated and managed by professionals. This is particularly timely since the COVID-19 pandemic gave further momentum to these technologies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAI and Society
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • AI
  • Health
  • Robotics
  • Care
  • Innovation
  • Healthcare
  • Imaginaries


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