Yishu  Mao

Yishu Mao, MA

PhD Candidate


since 10/2021                                  PhD Candidate in the SNF project “Imaginaries of Artificial Intelligence: The Communicative Constructin of AI in China, Germany and the US”at the Department of Communication and Media Research (IKMZ), University of Zurich, Switzerland
since 08/2020

Pre-doctoral Fellow

Lise-Meitner Group “China in the Global System of Science" Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin, Germany

2018 - 2020

Research Analyst,

Mercator Institute for China Studies, Berlin, Germany

2016 - 2018

M.A. Global Studies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany

2011 - 2015

B.A. Literature/Experimental Humanities, Bard College, US

Current research interests

  • The co-production of science and the social order
  • Sociotechnical imaginaries and communicative construction of Artificial Intelligence
  • Global governance of Artificial Intelligence
  • Science and Technology Studies

Peer-reviewed journal articles

  1. Mao, Y., Shi-Kupfer, K. (2021). Online Public Discourse on Artificial Intelligence and Ethics in China: Context, Content, and Implications. AI & Society. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00146-021-01309-7 (Link)

Conference and workshop presentations

  1. Mao, Y., (2021) Artificial Intelligence Ethics Made in China: Expectations and Practices from the Tech Industry. Paper presented at 2nd Symposium on Intercultural Digital Ethics (organized by Harvard Kennedy School Carr Center for Human Rights Policy). Online.
  2. Mao, Y., (2021) AI Ethics Made in China: Technological Promises and Labor Realities. Workshop Breaking Models, Data Governance and New Metrics of Knowledge in the Time of the Pandemic (organized by KIM research group at HfG Karlsruhe and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science). Berlin, Germany.
  3. Mao, Y., Shi-Kupfer, K. (2019) What’s hyped and what’s real: The state’s innovation ambitions versus society’s concerns: Social media discussions on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ethics in China. Paper presentation at 2019 Arbeitskreis Sozialwissenschaftliche Chinaforschung Annual Conference. Bremen, Germany.

Research reports and policy briefs

  1. Mao, Y. (2020) Conflicted hearts and minds: A survey of the political attitudes of Chinese students in Germany, MERICS Monitor.
  2. Arcesati. R., Holzmann, A, Mao, Y. et al. (2020) China’s digital platform economy: Assessing developments towards Industry 4.0, MERICS Report.
  3. Shi-Kupfer, K., Mao, Y. (2019) “What’s hyped and what’s real: The state’s innovation ambitions versus society’s concerns: Social media discussions on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ethics in China” Sino-German Innovation Platform Policy Brief.
  4. Shi-Kupfer, K., Mao, Y. (2018) “Mehr Markt, mehr Staat, mehr internationale Zusammenarbeit? Chinesische Debatten über die Innovationsfähigkeit der Volksrepublik” Sino-German Innovation Platform Policy Brief.

Invited talks

  1. Mao, Y. (2021, June 15). D(AI)chotomy of technological leadership. Chinnotopia organized by Technical University of Berlin, Germany. Online.
  2. Mao, Y. (2021, May 18). Scientists on Stage: Public Trust in China during the Covid-19 Pandemic, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Germany. Online.
  3. Mao, Y. (2021, February 2). How the Chinese Public View AI, “AI Narratives in China” organized by the Berggruen Center at Peking University & the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. Online.
  4. Mao, Y. (2020, January 12). AI Ethics in China, Science Fiction from China, Free University of Berlin, Germany
  5. Mao, Y. (2019, July 15). Key Opinion Leaders on Social Media and Policymaking in China, Center for Cultural Studies on Science and Technology in China, Technical University of Berlin.

Media commentaries

Karl, R., Mao, Y. and Jaivin.L (2017). Unpacking China’s Curious ‘Ivanka Fever’. Foreign Policy. (Link)