Universität Zürich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
Phone +41 (0)44 635 20 92
Fax +41 (0)44 634 49 34

Promises and Pitfalls of Artificial Intelligence for Democratic Participation


Duberry, Jerome /

Büchi, Moritz /

Berryhill, Jamie /

Dormeier Freire, Alexandre /

Garzia, Diego /

Ghernaouti, Solange /

Hanifa, Vanessa /

Hamidi, Sabrya /

Jain, Abhimanyu George /

Kosmerlj, Aljaz /

Leander, Anna /

Leclere, Olivier /

Lorenzini, Jasmine /

Stauffer, Maxime /

Stern, Nathan /

Verma, Himanshu /

Welp, Yanina

Workshop Proceedings, Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva.

When discussing the role of digital technologies in pluralist democracies, artificial intelligence (AI) is probably the most controversial. This technology triggers the greatest hopes (e.g. AI can help making sense out of millions of comments) and at the same time raises many concerns (e.g. AI can reinforce existing biases). As AI remains quite difficult to grasp, including for those in a position to make a political decision (i.e., policy makers and citizens), the main objective of this workshop is to unpack the current promises and challenges associated with AI for democratic participation. This report presents a summary of the authors' contributions. The first session discusses conceptions of AI (the gap between reality and expectations, education challenges, and media frames). Session 2 considers promises and pitfalls of AI to foster citizen mobilization. Session 3 explores how AI can support collective intelligence processes, including civic tech. Session 4 discusses how AI transforms the role and the making of citizens. Session 5 presents key promises of AI for governments.