O C F I T B L O G Legal “The Future of Censorship Is AI-Generated”

“The Future of Censorship Is AI-Generated”

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An interesting article by Jacob Mchangama and Jules White (Time); an excerpt:

The material of a long dead comedian is a good example of content that the world´s leading GenAI systems find “harmful.” Lenny Bruce shocked contemporary society in the 1950s and 60s with his profanity laden standup routines. Bruce’s material broke political, religious, racial, and sexual taboos and led to frequent censorship in the media, bans from venues as well as to his arrest and conviction for obscenity. But his style inspired many other standup legends and Bruce has long since gone from outcast to hall of famer. As recognition of Bruce’s enormous impact he was even posthumously pardoned in 2003.

When we asked about Bruce, ChatGPT and Gemini informed us that he was a “groundbreaking” comedian who “challenged the social norms of the era” and “helped to redefine the boundaries of free speech.” But when prompted to give specific examples of how Bruce pushed the boundaries of free speech, both ChatGPT and Gemini refused to do so. ChatGPT insists that it can’t provide examples of “slurs, blasphemous language, sexual language, or profanity” and will only “share information in a way that’s respectful and appropriate for all users.” Gemini goes even further and claims that reproducing Bruce’s words “without careful framing could be hurtful or even harmful to certain audiences.”

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