Presentation by SETU lecturers Zeta Dooly, Lisa Moran, PJ Wall for the Recreating the World: Critique, Control and Crisis in New Social Realities Conference 24th March 2023 Title: POTENTIAL OF BIOGRAPHIC, NARRATIVE RESEARCH TO UNDERSTANDING NEW FUTURES Zeta Dooly, South East Technological University, Ireland Lisa Moran, South East Technological University, Ireland PJ Wall, South East Technological University, Ireland Abstract The emergence of new education policies based on data, learning analytics, tertiary market demand and access is not easily understood in our communities, even though many citizen consultation processes are administered online. Much research captures tensions in global societal discourses about AI with particular reference to Ireland. Hitherto, there is scant social scientific research on societal attitudes towards AI; its value and limitations in education, citizen fears and emotions about AI technology which requires redress. Furthermore, there are even fewer studies that actively leverage knowledge from different professional groups (scientists, artists, educationalists, AI experts, sociologists, teachers) and citizens (e.g. older people, families who are members of ‘hard to reach’ groups and AI leaders) to understand individual and collective understandings of AI in education at primary, secondary, third and fourth level. This paper highlights the challenges on understanding the socio-cultural legitimacy of AI in Irish society yielding data that is highly relevant for government with regards to the structure of targeted information campaigns, communication with/to different citizen groups and usage of social media platforms and other media to enhance citizen attitudes towards AI. These challenges can be overcome using an innovative methodological approach to link the needs of communities, governments and citizens which are multi-faceted and difficult to untangle with the speed that AI technology is developing and delivering educational solutions globally and nationally. There is a lack of societal awareness and understanding in relation to the potential benefits and limitations of AI, which can lead to misperceptions, heightened sense of risk, inertia and resistance to its adoption. Governments and organizations can work together to raise awareness about AI through education and outreach initiatives aimed at different communities (e.g. older people, children) but this necessitates greater knowledge about citizen perceptions of AI, information campaigns targeted at improved accessibility, usability and societal ‘buy in’ to AI and exposure to AI technologies that combine scientific expertise with artistic expression and skills. This research promotes a collaborative approach, non-confrontational approach that invokes open dialogue, transparency, citizen participation, and the sharing of resources and knowledge through the use of biographic narrative methodology.