The robot or the brain?

Building a classifier for visual news frames of Artificial Intelligence

Image from https://images.pexels.com/photos/8294654/pexels-photo-8294654.jpeg

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often portrayed with brains or human-like robots in media or user-generated online images. Images grasp readers’ attention, imprint in their memory, and speak to their emotions. Thus, the visualisations of AI influence how people think about this new, rapidly evolving technology by putting them in a specific light through visual framing. This project aimed to describe the visual frames contained in online images of AI. Since the number of images online is large and growing, an automated method to analyse them is necessary. While commercial solutions focus mostly on recognising objects in images, this project’s goal was to automatically detect a more abstract concept, namely the portrayed meaning of the image, i.e., the visual frame. To do so, communication scientists and data scientists together developed a custom-trained image classifier that can automatically categorise images of AI into different visual frames such as “thinking machine,” or “collaborative AI.” The software can be used by academics and practitioners alike who want to explore how AI is depicted in user-generated, stock, or news images and who intend to understand which visualisations of this new technology are dominant online. 

Participating organisations

Social Sciences & Humanities
Social Sciences & Humanities
Netherlands eScience Center
ODISSEI
University of Amsterdam

Output

Team

IL
Irina Lock
Principal investigator
University of Amsterdam
TA
Theo Araujo
co-Applicant
University of Amsterdam
Christiaan Meijer
Christiaan Meijer
Jisk Attema
Programme Manager
Netherlands eScience Center

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