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This article reports how 18 UK and Canadian population health artificial intelligence researchers in Higher Education Institutions perceive the use of artificial intelligence systems in their research, and how this compares with their perceptions about the media portrayal of artificial intelligence systems. This is triangulated with a small scoping analysis of how UK and Canadian news articles portray artificial intelligence systems associated with health research and care. Interviewees had concerns about what they perceived as sensationalist reporting of artificial intelligence systems - a finding reflected in the media analysis. In line with Pickersgill's concept of 'epistemic modesty', they considered artificial intelligence systems better perceived as non-exceptionalist methodological tools that were uncertain and unexciting. Adopting 'epistemic modesty' was sometimes hindered by stakeholders to whom the research is disseminated, who may be less interested in hearing about the uncertainties of scientific practice, having implications on both research and policy.

Original publication




Journal article


Public understanding of science (Bristol, England)

Publication Date





196 - 211