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  • Joanne Jacobs

AI is learning to censor social media, and your taxes are paying for it


President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan includes half a million dollars for research in technology to detect and remove unconscious bias and microaggressions in social media, writes Philip Caldwell for Washington Free Beacon. In theory, an AI "civility" monitor would be less biased than human content moderators.


The grant:

This project develops language technologies to detect and intervene in the language of social discrimination — sexist, racist, homophobic microaggressions, condescension, objectification, dehumanizing metaphors, and the like — which can be unconscious and unintentional, but cause prolonged personal and professional harms.

The project is led by Yulia Tsvetkov, a University of Washington computer science professor. She co-authored a 2019 study which categorized the "myth" that "differences in treatment are due to one’s merit" as a microaggression, writes Caldwell. Another example was: "But where are you from, originally?"


A spokesperson for the National Science Foundation said there's no need to worry about free speech. Good to know!

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