Artificial intelligence in long-term care: Technological promise, aging anxieties, and sociotechnical ageism

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Abstract

This article explores views about older people and aging underpinning practices and perceptions of development and implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in long-term care homes (LTC). Drawing on semi-structured interviews with seven AI developers, seven LTC staff, and four LTC advocates, we analyzed how AI technologies for later life are imagined, designed, deployed, and resisted. Using the concepts of “promissory discourse” and “aging anxieties”, we investigated manifestations of ageism in accounts of AI applications in LTC. Despite positive intentions, both AI developers and LTC staff/advocates engaged in simplistic scripts about aging, care, and the technological capacity of older people. We further uncovered what we termed sociotechnical ageism—a form that is not merely digital but rests on interacting pre-conceptions about the inability or lack of interest of older people to use emerging technologies coupled with social assumptions about aging, LTC, and technological innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1274-1282
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Volume42
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Keywords

  • ageism
  • algorithmic bias
  • digital ageism
  • nursing homes
  • older people
  • techno-solutionism
  • technology

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