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Framing the Future: The Foundation Series, Foundation Models and Framing AI

Williams, Clare (2022) Framing the Future: The Foundation Series, Foundation Models and Framing AI. Law, Technology and Humans, 4 (2). pp. 109-123. ISSN 2652-4074. (doi:10.5204/lthj.2452) (KAR id:95427)


Are we at risk of preserving in digital aspic current hegemonic ways of doing, talking, and thinking about law and economy? Our dominant frames are those of neoclassical economics and doctrinal law, which, combined, align with neoliberal assumptions and preferences. Invisible through their ubiquity, these partially reveal and conceal problems and solutions, perpetuating inequalities. And yet, unlike social biases, our framing tends to fly largely under the radar, as we see in Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series.

Taking three themes from Asimov’s work that align with current hegemonic frames, namely the centrality of the individual as the subject, a belief in scientism and technological progress to save humanity, and a dissatisfaction with the limitations of language, this paper explores what, how, and why we might exercise caution in the development of natural language processing (NLP) artificial intelligence (AI). By drawing parallels with Asimov’s work and the development of foundation models (FMs) that underpin all AI NLP systems, this paper asks to what extent neoliberal framing and the inequalities perpetuated therein might come to be embedded in technologies of the future.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.5204/lthj.2452
Additional information: For the purpose of open access, the author has applied a CC BY public copyright licence to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising from this submission.
Uncontrolled keywords: AI, Foundation Models, Natural language processing, framing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
K Law > K Law (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > Kent Law School
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Clare Williams
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2022 07:43 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:37 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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