Intimate AI: Young Women’s Self-perception and Embodied Knowledge in the Age of Automation

AI now reaches into every aspect of life, even what we think about as intimate and private. Simplified, AI takes in data, makes predictions, and suggests the best cause for action or interpretation. So far research has focused on grand scales of social transformation, with little attention to the intricacies of AI interactions that people already engage in.

That AI affects our world is research clear on, but we cannot understand how unless we study how AI is navigated in everyday life. We ask what happens as AI translates our intimate spheres for us, do we understand ourselves, our bodies and desires better? Or is self-perception becoming as standardised and quantitative as AI itself?

In an interdisciplinary collaboration between Human-Computer Interaction, Existential Media Studies, and Gender Studies we explore this in-depth, focusing on young women. We ask: How do young women experience intimate AI in their everyday lives? What strategies of acceptance and resistance do they adopt with intimate AI? What alternative intimate AI futures can we imagine?

Through qualitative investigation of three critical cases where AI translates intimate experiences of the self, body, and desire we define intimate AI and its entanglements with our embodied self. Triangulating phenomenological experiences in these cases we contribute with a unique new framework for understanding intimate AI at this vulnerable moment in time where knowledge through the machine can both break us or make us.

This project will also further our collaboration with Uppsala University's Center for Women’s Mental Health during the Reproductive Lifespan – WOMHER.

Project period



Swedish Research Council

Project members

More about the project

Intimate AI: Young women’s self-perception and embodied knowledge in the age of automation, more information at Swecris.

Last modified: 2023-06-20