A new article in Wired highlights recent research by CEGA affiliate Margaret Roberts and coauthor Eddie Yang, which examined the effects of censorship in China on Artificial Intelligence algorithms. They found striking variations, for example, in search results for words like “democracy:”
“Margaret Roberts, a political science professor at UC San Diego, and Eddie Yang, a PhD student there, examined AI language algorithms trained on two sources: the Chinese-language version of Wikipedia, which is blocked within China; and Baidu Baike, a similar site operated by China’s dominant search engine, Baidu, that is subject to government censorship. Baidu declined to comment.
The researchers were curious whether censorship of certain words and phrases could be learned by AI algorithms and find its way into software that uses those algorithms. This might influence the language that a chatbot or a voice assistant uses, the phrasing by a translation program, or the text of autocomplete tools.”
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