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Contesting Algorithms

22.10.2019
Beginn 17:00 Uhr, Ende 18:00 Uhr

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is transforming the way we govern human behavior, undermining the checks and balances which were intended to safeguard fundamental freedoms in liberal democracies. Governance by AI is a dynamic, data driven framework of governance, where decisions regarding a particular instance would be shaped by data analytics. Systems are designed ex ante to optimize certain functions, in non-transparent manners which challenge oversight and may bypass the social contract. This could be game-changing for democracy, as it facilitates the rise of unchecked power.

The case of content moderation by online platforms offers an interesting example. Platforms, such as Google, Facebook and Twitter, are responsible for mediating much of the public discourse and governing access to speech and speakers around the world. Social media platforms use AI to match users and content, to adjudicate conflicting claims regarding the legitimate use of content on their systems and to detect and expeditiously remove illegal content. AI in content moderation is applied as a practical need to operate in a dynamic, ever growing digital landscape; as an innovative competitive advantage; or simply as measures to ensure legal compliance or to avoid a public outcry.

Professor Niva Elkin-Koren is the coauthor of The Limits of Analysis: Law and Economics of Intellectual Property in the Digital Age (2012) and Law, Economics and Cyberspace: The effects of Cyberspace on the Economic Analysis of Law (2004). She is the coeditor of Law and Information Technology (2011) and The Commodification of Information (2002).

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Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society
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