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Have you noticed that news stories and marketing material about Artificial Intelligence are typically illustrated with clichéd and misleading images ?

A sketch of a humanoid robot in a thinking pose

Humanoid robots, glowing brains, outstretched robot hands, blue backgrounds, and the Terminator.

These stereotypes are not just overworked, they can be surprisingly unhelpful.

Above: A sketch of a robot hand and a human hand touching a schematic of a brain. Below: A sketch of the Terminator's head

What’s the problem with current tropes?

Abstract, futuristic or science-fiction-inspired images of AI hinder the understanding of the technology’s already significant societal and environmental impacts.

Images relating machine intelligence to human intelligence set unrealistic expectations and misstate the capabilities of AI.

Images representing AI as sentient robots mask the accountability of the humans actually developing the technology, and can suggest the presence of robots where there are none.

Such images potentially sow fear, and research shows they can be laden with historical assumptions about gender, ethnicity and religion.

However, finding alternatives can be difficult! That’s why we, a non-profit collaboration, are researching, creating, curating and providing Better Images of AI.

An abstract image of binary ones and zeros, lines and squares

Find Better Images of AI

A photographic rendering of a young black man standing in front of a cloudy blue sky, seen through a refractive glass grid and overlaid with a diagram of a neural network.

Quantified Human - Alan Warburton

An illustration of three „pixelated“ cupboards next to each other with open drawers, the right one is black

Classification Cupboard - Anton Grabolle

A banana, a plant and a flask on a monochrome surface, each one surrounded by a thin white frame with letters attached that spell the name of the objects

Banana / Plant / Flask - Max Gruber

Visit our gallery which is the start of a new alternative repository of stock images. They are available for anyone to use for free under CC licences, or just as inspiration for more helpful and diverse representations of AI.

Together we can increase public understanding and enable more meaningful conversation around this increasingly influential technology. But we need your support. Please get in touch if you have ideas or images, or time and funding to help commission artists and develop guidance.