A societal constitutionalism approach to digital constitutionalism: insights from the artificial Intelligence field

Digital constitutionalism has emerged as a novel research paradigm aiming to explore how limitations in the exercise of power could be ensured in the digital environment. However, most of the time, attempts to investigate the constitutionalization of the digital sphere are confined to the legal production of soft or hard laws instruments. This paper argues that such approach does not take properly into account the coercive force of codes and digital architectures, and grounding on Teubner's societal constitutionalism, maintains that the constitutionalization of the digital space should be placed at the interplay of technological processes of digital design and social processes of norms creations. The paper will illustrate how self-restraining mechanisms could be introduced into the design of complex socio-technical systems by analyzing the recent EU Commission policies on AI, the IEEE Ethical Aligned Design guidelines, and the Association for Computing Machinery Code of conduct.