What problems is the AI act solving? Technological solutionism, fundamental rights, and trustworthiness in European AI policy

Bao-Chau Pham (Corresponding author), Sarah Davies

Publications: Contribution to journalArticlePeer Reviewed


Artificial intelligence (AI) policy has been a key topic in public and political discourse for some time. Mobilizing Bacchi’s ‘What’s the problem represented to be?’ framework, we critically explore the policy responses to AI presented by the European Commission, the problem representations that are assumed within and justify these particular responses, and the wider effects of such problematizations. We find that EU AI policy constitutes the technology as both opportunity and threat, and that these problematizations demand a specific policy response – the risk-based categorizations of the AI Act – that allows these different imaginations of AI to cohere. In addition, we argue that one effect of these problematizations is the enactment of particular versions of Europe and Europeanness. In proposing a specific policy solution, European AI policy enacts not only AI but an exceptionalist notion of Europe as a policy actor and coherent political community.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCritical Policy Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2024

Austrian Fields of Science 2012

  • 509017 Social studies of science


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • European Union
  • policy solution
  • problematization

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