Threat or opportunity? (Social) media perspectives on AI and the future of work

9 March 2022



As digital technologies reshape working practices around the globe, what can online discussions about AI and the future of work tell us about how the impacts and possible futures are understood?

In this talk, Dr. Guer-Seker outlines her research into how AI and the future of work is discussed and reported online in German newspapers and on social media. She undertook a systematic analysis of language, sentiments and attitudes, systematically examining words, contexts (e.g. negative and positive language use) and images (e.g. visualisation of robots).   Her research found that both (online) newspaper and social media discourses are shaped through recurring language, thought and image patterns in which two opposing positions stand out: AI as a threat or as an opportunity.

Confronted with a discourse that appears to be dominated by a fundamental—and simplistic—dichotomy, Dr. Guer-Seker will consider how it might be possible to shape a better, more nuanced public conversation about digital futures at work.


Dr. Derya Guer-Seker currently works at the Institute for German Studies, at the University of Duisburg-Essen (Germany). She does research in Discourse Analysis and (Social) Media Communication. Her study on “Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Work” was supported by the Otto-Brenner Foundation, which is a foundation of the German Union IG Metall.

Related reading

Künstliche Intelligenz und die Zukunft der Arbeit: Die digitale transforamtion in den (sozialen) Medien (Otto-brenner-stiftung.)