FreeSpeech and Censorship: Thread

grarpamp grarpamp at
Thu Feb 16 21:18:48 PST 2023

Bill Gates was major 1984 style trouble ever since he
continued to write closed source NSA_KEY software
and use the deadly violence of the State to enforce
"copyright" fiction.

Free Speech Is Futile: Gates Goes Full 'Borg' On AI Censorship

Below is my column in the New York Post on the call of Bill Gates to
use Artificial Intelligence to combat “political polarization” on the
Internet. It turns out the problem on the Internet is those pesky
humans “who want to believe … things” that they should not. Enter the
new AI Overlords to bring collective peace and tranquility through
content assimilation.

Here is the column:

“We are the AI.”

That Borg-like greeting could be coming soon to the internet in the
form of new AI overlords. In a recent chilling interview, Microsoft
founder and billionaire Bill Gates called for the use of artificial
intelligence to combat not just “digital misinformation” but
“political polarization.”

He is only the latest to call for the use of either AI or algorithms
to shape what people say or read on the internet. The danger of such a
system is evident where free speech, like resistance, could become

In an interview on a German program, “Handelsblatt Disrupt,” Gates
calls for unleashing AI to stop certain views from being “magnified by
digital channels.” The problem is that we allow “various conspiracy
theories like QAnon or whatever to be blasted out by people who wanted
to believe those things.”

Gates added that AI can combat “political polarization” by checking
“confirmation bias.”

Confirmation bias is a term long used to describe the tendency of
people to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms
their own beliefs. It is now being used to dismiss those with opposing
views as ignorant slobs dragging their knuckles across the internet —
people endangering us all by failing to accept the logic behind
policies on COVID, climate change or a host of other political issues.

This is not the first call for AI overlords to protect us from
ourselves. Last September, Gates gave the keynote address at the
Forbes 400 Summit on Philanthropy. He told his fellow billionaires
that “polarization and lack of trust is a problem.”

The problem is again … well … people: “People seek simple solutions
[and] the truth is kind of boring sometimes.”

Not AI, of course. That would supply the solutions. Otherwise, Gates
suggested, we could all die: “Political polarization may bring it all
to an end, we’re going to have a hung election and a civil war.”

Others have suggested a Brave New World where citizens will be
carefully guided in what they read and see. Democratic leaders have
called for a type of “enlightened algorithms” to frame what citizens
access on the internet. In 2021, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
objected that people were not listening to the informed views of
herself and leading experts. Instead, they were reading views of
skeptics by searching Amazon and finding books by “prominent spreaders
of misinformation.”

Warren blamed Amazon for failing to limit searches or choices: “This
pattern and practice of misbehavior suggests that Amazon is either
unwilling or unable to modify its business practices to prevent the
spread of falsehoods or the sale of inappropriate products.” In her
letter, Warren gave the company 14 days to change its algorithms to
throttle and obstruct efforts to read opposing views.

Social media responded to such calls and engaged in widespread
censorship of those who held opposing views of mask mandates, vaccine
safety, school mandates, and the origin of COVID-19. Many of those
criticisms and views are now acknowledged as plausible and legitimate,
but scientists were banned and censored. There was no “polarization”
allowed. The public never was allowed to have that full debate on
social media because such views were declared disinformation.

President Biden joined in these calls for censorship, often sounding
like a censor-in-chief, denouncing social media companies for “killing
people” by not blocking enough. Recently, he expressed doubt that the
public can “know the truth” without such censorship by “editors” in
Big Tech.

They found an eager body of censors at companies like Twitter. After
taking over as CEO, Parag Agrawal pledged to regulate content as
“reflective of things that we believe lead to a healthier public
conversation.” Agrawal said the company would “focus less on thinking
about free speech” because “speech is easy on the internet. Most
people can speak. Where our role is particularly emphasized is who can
be heard.”

That view was echoed last week in the first hearing on Twitter’s
censorship program. Former Twitter executive Anika Collier Navaroli
testified on what she repeatedly called the “nuanced” standard used by
her and her staff on censorship. She explained that they did not just
balance free speech against public safety in deciding whether to allow
someone to speak. Rather censorship depended on the persons involved:
“Whose free expression are we protecting at the expense of whose
safety and whose safety are we willing to allow to go the winds so
that people can speak freely?”

All of that could be much easier with an AI Overlord that can protect
us against our own doubts and divisions. Currently, Microsoft, the
company Gates founded, uses NewsGuard, a self-described arbiter of
misinformation, which rates sites and has been widely criticized for
targeting conservative media.

Now, this work could be turned over to an AI Overlord. Of course, the
intelligence remains artificial. A human has to program what is truth
and what is intolerable “polarization.” It would be a ramped-up
version of ChatGPT, the popular AI service that Microsoft just
incorporated into its Bing search engine. It censors “offensive”
content and bars certain viewpoints because it was told to do so.

AI enforces the collective truth that needs to be amplified for a
greater good as determined by figures like Gates.

We are clearly not facing a giant menacing cube circling our planet
(No, the Chinese balloons don’t count). Yet, after years of
censorship, you would be forgiven if it all sounds chillingly similar
to “Lower your shields and surrender … Resistance is futile.”

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