AI’s Content Moderation Moment is Here

Maximilian Gahntz is a Senior Policy Researcher at Mozilla. Alina Constantin / Better Images of AI / Handmade A.I / CC-BY 4.0 After the hype comes the reckoning. AI is no different.  While the world still marvels at all the different things that generative AI systems like ChatGPT or Stable Diffusion can do, others are rightfully pointing to their limitations and possible harms.  For instance, they can spit out false information — so-called hallucinations —  or hateful language; perpetuate harmful stereotypes; script online scams; and be used to generate disinformation and deepfakes.  It may feel as though we are in uncharted territory — and in many ways, we are. But not all the issues posed by generative AI are new. For more than a decade, researchers, technologists, activists, and regulators have hotly debated the risks of and appropriate limits for online speech, imagery, and videos in the context of content moderation — how social media platforms decide what stays up and what gets taken down.  Of course, there are fundamental differences: content on Twitter or Instagram is (mostly) composed by humans; content generated by AI may be prompted by a human, but it is composed algorithmically. We also haven’t “fixed” content moderation. Far from it — it is still awful. Still, we need not start at square one when it comes to generative AI — there are lessons to be learned for AI-generated content and the guardrails we set for it. So what does AI content “moderation” look like? Who…AI’s Content Moderation Moment is Here