This study examines the consequences of the increasingly prevalent use of artificial intelligence (AI) disinformation initiatives upon freedom of expression, pluralism and the functioning of a democratic polity.
The study examines the trade-offs in using automated technology to limit the spread of disinformation online. It presents options (from self-regulatory to legislative) to regulate automated content recognition (ACR) technologies in this context. Special attention is paid to the opportunities for the European Union as a whole to take the lead in setting the framework for designing these technologies in a way that enhances accountability and transparency and respects free speech. The present project reviews some of the key academic and policy ideas on technology and disinformation and highlights their relevance to European policy.
Chapter 1 introduces the background to the study and presents the definitions used. Chapter 2 scopes the policy boundaries of disinformation from economic, societal and technological perspectives, focusing on the media context, behavioural economics and technological regulation. Chapter 3 maps and evaluates existing regulatory and technological responses to disinformation. In Chapter 4, policy options are presented, paying particular attention to interactions between technological solutions, freedom of expression and media pluralism.
This study was financed by the European Science-Media Hub (ESMH) budget. It was written by Prof. Chris MARSDEN, University of Sussex, and Dr Trisha MEYER, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (with an independent review by Dr Ian BROWN), at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.