(Reclaim The Net)—A Republican report from the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday raised alarms over possible AI-enabled censorship on a massive scale, reminiscent of Twitter and Facebook’s suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop exposé in 2020.
The accusations focus on a series of AI tools currently under development. Financial backing for this venture has reportedly come from the Biden administration, leading to concerns about the permeation of political influence in freedom of speech.
We obtained a copy of the report for you here.
According to the report, the administration has invested millions of funds in AI research. The objective of this activity, as stated, is the creation of handy tools capable of targeting and suppressing “misinformation.” Once operational, these utilities could ostensibly be handed over to major social media platforms.
Details contained in the report point towards a disturbing admission by researchers involved in the project, officially known as “Track F.” A series of emails reveal their belief that the average American lacks the ability to distinguish between truth and falsehood in the vast, complex landscape of online content. Seemingly, the project accuses veterans and conservatives of being particularly prone to disseminating or accepting misinformation, even more so than the general public.
The report was submitted by the Subcommittee on the Weaponization of Government under the House Judiciary Committee, currently headed by Rep. Jim Jordan. It highlights how funds from the National Sciences Foundation filtered to prestigious institutions, including MIT, the University of Madison-Wisconsin, and the University of Michigan. The funds were funneled into a program, intriguingly titled “Trust & Authenticity in Communication Systems.”
The initiative dubbed “Track F” has been set in motion to recognize “misinformation,” while also producing educational materials for those most vulnerable to false narratives. This initiative is part of a largely unnamed effort, the “Convergence Accelerator Program,” which was stealthily set up in 2021 to address nationally impactful issues through high-level research.
While these tools could, ideally, filter out harmful content such as child abuse or manipulative deepfakes, Republicans are more concerned about their potential for broader censorship. The report details researchers’ motivations to stifle public speech, as stated by Michael Pozmantier, the manager of the $13 million program, who broadly characterizes the project as a combatant against misinformation.
Researchers at the University of Michigan suggested the potential of this undertaking to transfer content regulation from social media to government officials. An MIT researcher shared concerns with NSF officials, noting that “large segments” of the public are incapable of “discerning reality from fabrication on the internet.”
There are apprehensions that these tools could be perfected and then utilized by platforms like YouTube, Reddit, and Facebook. This could further restrict internet users’ abilities to express themselves and access information, an instance reminiscent of the revelations about Hunter Biden’s laptop being quashed by Twitter and Facebook prior to the 2020 presidential election.
This report is part of a larger examination into federal government efforts to inhibit speech on social media platforms. In an earlier finding, it was revealed that Covid origin narratives were removed by Facebook at the direct request of the Biden administration.