Establishing counterpoints in the sonic framing of AI narratives

Jennifer Alison Chubb*, David Gareth Beer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To challenge dominant representations and conceptions of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this article explores how AI is sonically represented in documentaries. Using a corpus of documentaries alongside expert interviews with sound designers, we explore the ways in which music and sound may influence perception about AI. The notion of ‘counterpoint’ in music theory is developed as a concept to capture and explain how the integrated dynamics of human/machines are represented within these sonic framings. The concept of the counterpoint allows us to reflect on how the relations between AI and the human and how they are sonically framed in ways that separate and blend without recourse to reductive or binary futures, which potentially misrepresent AI capabilities and performance. The article identifies and develops four types of counterpoint in what we refer to as AI sonic narratives. This article provides a framework from which AI could be sonically framed responsibly, which is critical when misinformation and hype impede the public understanding of science.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalAI and Ethics
Early online date12 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

© Crown 2023


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