Scandinavian Journal of Information Systems


Despite the crucial role of generative AI in organizations and society, our under- standing of its evolution is limited. Prior research has focused on isolated examinations into the layers of generative AI. However, the synergistic interactions between these layers are often overlooked, resulting in examinations that may ultimately be limited. There is a pressing need for theory to better understand the emergence of generative AI, especially considering how Digital Infrastructure Theory is well-positioned to critically examine these layers not as separate silos but as interwoven strands in a complex web. Drawing on Digital Infrastructure Theory, this essay theorizes the dynamics of generative AI evolution through a six-layered framework. These layers—Technology, Data, Contents, Network, User and Interaction, and Regulation and Ethics—are integral to understanding and navigating the complexities of generative AI as it becomes. The essay proposes that each layer influences and is influenced by the others, forming a complex interdependent system that guides AI’s evolution and integration into various domains. The study’s insights aim to inform how we manage and foster AI’s development, ensuring ethical and effective use within organizational structures.