On the International Day for Universal Access to Information, September 28, 2023, the Forum on Information and Democracy announced the launch of its new Working Group on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its implications for the information and communication space.
The Forum is the civil society-led implementation body of the Partnership on Information and Democracy, endorsed by 51 democratic states worldwide. Its objective is to implement democratic safeguards in the digital space and address new threats to democracy emerging from the globalization and digitization of our information and communication ecosystem by providing concrete regulatory and policy recommendations.
Composed of 14 notable experts from around the world, the Working Group will identify and elaborate recommendations to address the challenges AI is creating for the information space and for our democratic institutions that rely on trusted and reliable information. Jonathan Stray, Senior Scientist at the Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, is the expert who was selected from the USA to be a part of this Working Group.
“The rapid development and advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), generative artificial intelligence and even artificial general intelligence (AGI) is transforming the global information and communication space at a pace nearly unseen among recent technological innovations.
Generative AI tools enable anyone to become an easy creator of content. Yet, AI can invent sources, create misinformation and deep fakes, amplifying the dangers of disinformation and information chaos, which puts increasing strain on our democratic institutions.
AI applications are taking crucial decisions in the information space, as the mere amount of information available and content created exceeds human capacities to consume, sort, moderate and verify. Currently, mainly private enterprises are deciding the rules of the game, including which safety and ethical guardrails they choose to implement.
Our democratic institutions must lead the development and implementation of democratic principles and rules to govern the development, deployment and use of all aspects of AI in the information space. Without guidance – including regulatory incentives – from our democratic institutions, developers and deployers of AI models and tools risk undermining the very foundations of our democracies, rooted in a credible and legitimate information ecosystem.”