Digital Platforms and American Life: A Conference on Technology and Government  

The ever-growing importance of internet platforms and Big Tech companies in civic life present difficult questions: How should we govern digital spaces? How does regulation affect innovation and vice versa? How do we do more to provide underserved communities access to digital tools? In almost every realm of our lives, technology is forcing us to confront problems that are both timeless and unique to our era.

With the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, AEI’s Digital Platforms and American Life Project invited experts to convene and write about these important issues. On September 27, 2022, AEI hosted three panels to discuss and debate the current status of content moderation on social media platforms, practical problems with regulating emergent technologies, and approaches the federal government should take to expand digital access in low-income communities.

Regulate Big Tech? A Conversation with Richard Epstein and John Samples

In this episode of The Gray Matters podcast, hosted by the C. Boyden Gray Center for the Study of the Administrative State at George Mason University, AEI’s Adam J. White and the Gray Center’s Jace Lington chat with New York University Law Professor Richard Epstein and Meta Oversight Board Member John Samples about the debate surrounding whether and how to regulate Big Tech companies. They discuss Epstein’s and Samples’s papers for the Digital Platforms and American Life project and think about content moderation decisions in light of the disagreements surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is Artificial Intelligence Effective at Content Moderation?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an increasingly significant tool in online content moderation. It offers some clear benefits, most notably in identifying and removing clearly illegal content, such as terrorist materials and child pornography, from online platforms. But other uses raise difficult questions about accountability, bias, and effectiveness.

Above all, AI itself cannot decide the proper goals of content moderation. And if Americans do not agree on that question, then what are the limits of AI content moderation as a useful tool?

AEI’s Adam White and Murmuration Labs’s Alex Feerst to discussed Mr. Feerst’s recent report for AEI’s Digital Platforms and American Life Project in a webinar on reconceptualizing the use of AI in online content moderation.