AI Analogies on the International Stage

March 15, 2024

Clarote & AI4Media / Better Images of AI / Power/Profit / CC-BY 4.0

The metaphors and analogies used on the international stage to describe AI and development and deployment thus possess significant power to shape global conceptions of the risks posed by AI, and the governance measures that should be undertaken to constrain these risks. Yet, as the ‘arms race’ narrative shows, these analogies are rarely neutral and can even exacerbate the potential risks and harms of AI development and deployment. The historical comparisons drawn between AI and other transformation technologies thus require critical scrutiny and analysis in order to generate a sense of ‘best practices’ around AI analogies in the context of international relations.

Consequently, this one-day symposium explores questions such as:

  • What stories and analogies are frequently used to describe AI development and deployment on the world stage? How do these directly impact AI governance models and discussions?
  • What are the benefits and limitations of historical comparison and analogies for thinking about questions of global AI governance? What kind insights to these comparative cases generate, and what kinds of political and socio-technical foreclosure do they produce?
  • How can analogies for AI development and historical case studies of alternative cybernetic projects offer us different ways of thinking about AI futures?
  • The conference will conclude with a keynote by Verity Harding, head of the AI x Geopolitics research project at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy, University of Cambridge and former Global Head of Public Policy at DeepMind.

To register for the full day (10am-7pm) Click here

To register for the Keynote Only (5.30pm-7pm) Click here

This conference will take place both in person at the University of Cambridge and online. In-person registration is limited, so please register as soon as possible and cancel your registration if you’re unable to attend. If you have any questions, please contact the conference organiser, Dr Kerry McInerney, at