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From AI safety debate to action: What should we expect?
And diversity isn't just a checkbox at Meedan!
We hope you’re staying safe and healthy.
The AI safety debate is gradually shifting toward more concrete and direct calls to action. In fact, the rapid proliferation of generative AI tools has outpaced the development of necessary regulatory and ethical frameworks.
UNESCO recently called for urgent review and implementation of comprehensive policies and guidelines to ensure the responsible and beneficial integration of generative AI tools in schools. The Brookings Institute said it is more likely that people will use new generative AI tools during elections in 2024 to create content without any public disclosure “and it will be impossible for voters to distinguish real from fake appeals.”
The use of AI tools to generate content is not new by any means. However, as more and more people gain access to affordable internet connections and mobile devices - we're going to see more refined use of AI to effortlessly generate high-quality mis/disinformation.
But how are platforms responding to these likely scenarios?
In a recent AI safety roundtable streamed online, Elon Musk said X is “moving to having a small monthly payment for use of the X system,” claiming that this is “the only defense against the vast armies of bots.”
Meta previously announced that it was launching a Community Forum on Generative AI aimed at “producing feedback on the principles people want to see reflected in new AI technologies.”
OpenAI, the company responsible for the creation of Chat-GPT and the recent explosive interest in generative AI, believes that AI can help too. The company said that AI tools can be effective in content moderation, arguing that “the process of developing and customizing content policies is trimmed down from months to hours.”
Meedan joined major tech and media industry names like BBC, Witness, the New York Times, CBC/Radio-Canada, Google, Amazon, Meta, Adobe, and Microsoft, as a member of Partnership on AI’s AI and Media Integrity Steering Committee. The committee seeks to increase coordination across organizations implicated by AI developments, AI-generated mis/disinformation, synthetic media, and AI’s effects on public discourse.
As these discussions develop into guidelines, policies and recommendations on how to deal with generative AI content online, we should watch closely how tech companies will respond to these content moderation challenges and how successful they will be as they attempt to keep the promise of a safer and inclusive internet.
Don’t forget to take a look at the Townsquare section where we share opportunities and events.
If there are updates you would like us to share from your country or region, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Check Global Report
By Meedan’s Check Global team in Beirut, Kochi, Bhimtal, Nairobi, and Porto Alegre
On Friday, September 8, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck the city of Marrakesh and the Al Haouz region in Morocco, killing almost 3,000 people in the latest count, and injuring thousands more. In this report, Moroccan journalists covering the Al Haouz earthquake were asked for their topline advice for covering the disaster. They also suggested some local sources and initiatives that journalists can turn to for reliable information.
Journalists should keep in mind that earthquakes are unpredictable; it’s critical to be flexible and willing to adapt when reporting on them.” — Fadwa Kamal, project manager at ICFJ
“We can’t do this alone”: Nigerian fact-checkers teamed up to debunk politicians’ false claims at this year’s election (Fact-Check Hub)
Election cycles are always a tough period in Nigeria, and the recent election was made even tougher by the cacophony of the digital public sphere. But trolls and activists were not alone on the internet. Fact-checking teams across different newsrooms worked hard to debunk false claims and had a meaningful impact on public discourse.
“We were not only debunking claims… We were also flagging bad actors with social media platforms and providing context where necessary. Now that the election has passed, we are sharing what we’ve learnt with others so our processes get better ahead of future elections.” — Mayowa Tijani, The Centre for Democracy and Development
Malaysian government told to stop playing ‘Big Brother’ to media (Global Voices)
Local media groups have reminded Malaysian authorities about their commitment to uphold freedom of expression after several news websites have been blocked over the past two months. Authorities accused some news outlets of intentionally spreading misinformation.
The blocking of these websites is linked to the directives issued by the Malaysian regulator which earlier warned that it would prohibit inflammatory content on race, religion, and royalty ahead of the state elections.
“If crackdown is deemed driven by partisan calculation, the suppressed voices will only grow stronger in under-currents, posing a greater danger to inclusion and stability. […] A key cornerstone of democracy is free and fair access to public media by all political parties but sadly Malaysia has never witnessed such fair play during our elections.” — Joint statement by the media groups
Concern for journalists’ safety grows in Argentina after primary elections and crackdown in Jujuy (LatAm Journalism Review)
Argentina is going through a political situation of total uncertainty. After ultra-conservative economist Javier Milei received the most votes in Argentina’s presidential primary, positioning him as the favorite for the general elections, the National Academy of Journalism (ANP, by its Spanish acronym) issued a statement condemning Milei’s recent verbal attacks on journalism.
“The goal of these aggressions and censorship on the part of the government is for information not to circulate and for terror to be engendered," since "there is fear of how it is communicated and under what circumstances it can happen again." —Johana Arce, journalist and photographer
As a globally distributed team of over 40 people from across nine time zones, 11 countries, and 27 cities, Meedan recognizes the importance of creating an environment where every individual feels valued and heard.
Our journey toward a people-first approach with an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens is an ever-evolving adventure. We're excited to continue building a global community that celebrates differences, empowers individuals, and collectively strives for positive change.
This post is the first in our journey to making Meedan more inclusive, diverse and equitable for our team and the communities we work with.
September 21-23, 2023
The Festival Fala! - Communication, Culture and Advocacy Journalism Conference is hosting its fourth edition in Recife, Brazil. Journalists, students, grassroots communicators, scholars, media managers and government officials are invited to join.
October 9, 2023
Earth Journalism Network is making available grants to media outlets in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan looking to “follow the money” and investigate environmental crimes.
What else we’re reading
Elon Musk says X will charge users ‘a small monthly payment’ to use its service (TechCrunch)
Lost in AI translation: growing reliance on language apps jeopardizes some asylum applications (The Guardian)
Researchers and governments are finally battling back against the deluge of false information online, just as artificial intelligence threatens to supercharge the problem (New Scientist)
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