The making of AI society: AI futures frames in German political and media discourses

Lea Köstler , Ringo Ossewaarde*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
200 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, we shed light on the emergence, diffusion, and use of socio-technological future visions. The artificial intelligence (AI) future vision of the German federal government is examined and juxtaposed with the respective news media coverage of the German media. By means of a content analysis of frames, it is demonstrated how the German government strategically uses its AI future vision to uphold the status quo. The German media largely adapt the government´s frames and do not integrate alternative future narratives into the public debate. These findings are substantiated in the framing of AI futures in policy documents of the German government and articles of four different German newspapers. It is shown how the German past is mirrored in the German AI future envisioned by the government, safeguarding the present power constellation that is marked by a close unity of politics and industry. The German media partly expose the government´s frames and call for future visions that include fundamentally different political designs less influenced by the power structures of the past and present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-263
Number of pages15
JournalAI & society
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • UT-Hybrid-D
  • Content analysis
  • Frames
  • Futures
  • German policy and media communication
  • AI


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