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Lessig on why AI and social media are causing a free speech crisis for the internet

The Verge: Harvard Professor Lawrence LessigAfter 30 years teaching law, the internet policy legend is as worried as you’d think about AI and TikTok — and he has surprising thoughts about balancing free speech with protecting democracy. Nilay Patel: “…Larry and I talked about the current and recurring controversy around react videos on YouTube, not what they are but what they represent: the users of a platform trying to establish their own culture around what people can and cannot remix and reuse — their own speech regulations based in copyright law. That’s a fascinating cultural development. There’s a lot of approaches to create these types of speech regulations that get around the First Amendment, and I wanted to know how Larry felt about that as someone who has been writing about speech on the internet for so long. His answers really surprised me. Of course, we also had to talk about artificial intelligence. You’ll hear us pull apart two different types of AI that are really shaping our cultural experiences right now. There’s algorithmic AI, which runs the recommendation engines on social platforms and tries to keep you engaged. And then there’s the new world of generative AI, which everyone agrees is a huge risk for the spread of misinformation, both today and in the future, but which no two people seem to agree on how to tackle. Larry’s thoughts here were also surprising. Maybe, he says, we need to get all of politics offline if we’re going to solve this problem.”

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