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The National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships is a branch that gives grants to companies and organizations to promote technological innovation in the United States. Taxpayer money that should be going towards projects that benefit the well-being of all Americans, however, is instead going toward AI projects that censor free speech.
Between 2018 and 2022, the National Science Foundation (NSF) gave 1.2 million dollars to the Massachusetts-based Automated Controversy Detection Inc. for a project titled “A Controversy Detection Signal for Finance.” According to the company’s LinkedIn, the company is a quote “NSF-backed company that aims to make online communication more productive and less dangerous.” Unquote. Their website states that they use quote “state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms to stop the spread of misinformation online.” Unquote.
The goal of this project underwritten by tax dollars is to develop technology that can quote “automatically detect controversy and disinformation, providing a means for financial institutions to reduce risk exposure.” Unquote. Cutting through the corporate tech speak, what this means is that the government is funding a project that will search the internet for misinformation, which is liberal speak for any news that makes liberals look bad, and ensure that anyone posting this supposed misinformation cannot get any funding.
This project is an obvious and brazen attack on our Constitutional right to free speech, and it is shameful that the NSF would fund this. Artificial Intelligence is a very powerful tool, and it is worrying and wrong that the government would promote the use of AI to potentially silence conservative voices. This is unacceptable and against the spirit of America.
If the NSF is going to fund any artificial intelligence projects, it should fund projects that do not have a clear political bias. Chat GPT, the AI chatbot that took the world by storm last year, has been shown to have many anti-conservative biases. But AI does not have to be anti-conservative. Information should be unbiased and honest, and AI projects that gather information should provide it in a way that allows the reader to draw their own conclusions. AI should not pigeonhole the user into the liberal point of view.