Communications of the Association for Information Systems


Many would argue that artificial intelligence (AI) is not only technology but also a paradigmatic shift in the relationship between humans and machines. Much literature assumes that AI-powered practices substantially differ from and profoundly change organizational structures, communication, affordances, and ecosystems. However, AI research remains fragmented and often lacks clarity. While the information systems (IS) discipline can play a pivotal role in AI’s emergence and use, the discipline needs a clear direction that specifies how it can contribute and its key research themes and questions. This paper draws on a professional development workshop that we organized at the 2020 International Conference on Information Systems and the discussions that followed. We summarize and synthesize how AI has impacted organizational practices over five decades and provide views from various perspectives. We identify weaknesses in the current AI literature as measured against conceptual clarity, theoretical glue, cumulative tradition, parsimony, and applicability. We also identify direct actions that the IS research community can undertake to address these issues. Finally, we propose a next-step research agenda to guide AI research in the coming years.





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