Addressing the Black Box of AI—A Model and Research Agenda on the Co-constitution of Aging and Artificial Intelligence

Vera Gallistl*, Muneeb Ul Lateef Banday, Clara Berridge, Alisa Grigorovich, Juliane Jarke, Ittay Mannheim, Barbara Marshall, Wendy Martin, Tiago Moreira, C.M. van Leersum, A. Peine

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Algorithmic technologies and (large) data infrastructures, often referred to as Artificial Intelligence (AI), have received increasing attention from gerontological research in the last decade. Although there is much literature that dissects and explores the development, application, and evaluation of AI relevant to gerontology, this study makes a novel contribution by critically engaging with the theorizing in this growing field of research. We observe that gerontology’s engagement with AI is shaped by an interventionist logic that situates AI as a black box for gerontological research. We demonstrate how this black box logic has neglected many aspects of AI as a research topic for gerontology and discuss three classical concepts in gerontology to show how they can be used to open various black boxes of aging and AI in the areas: (a) the datafication of aging, (b) the political economy of AI and aging, and (c) everyday engagements and embodiments of AI in later life. In the final chapter, we propose a model of the co-constitution of aging and AI that makes theoretical propositions to study the relational terrain between aging and AI and hence aims to open the black box of AI in gerontology beyond interventionist logic.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbergnae039
Number of pages7
JournalThe Gerontologist
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


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