9: Regulating AI in democratic erosion: context, imaginaries and voices in the Brazilian debate
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This chapter critically discusses two central policy initiatives to regulate AI in Brazil: The Brazilian Artificial Intelligence Bill and the Brazilian Strategy for AI. Our analysis focuses on four sets of issues: Brazil’s digital policy tradition and the political context in which these initiatives were formulated and decided on (i.e., the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, which epitomizes the Brazilian version of a global trend of democratic erosion); how those two policy texts conceptualize AI technologies, their roles and relevance vis-à-vis the particularities of the Brazilian social, economic and legal realities; regarding the imaginaries represented in such texts; and who are the groups represented in the debates around these policies. Our goal is to provide a general overview of the Brazilian AI policy landscape and contribute to debates on how national political and legal dynamics can shape a sort of technological system that is often described as “universal” and “global”.

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