As debate ramps up around the benefits, and potential dangers, of evolving AI tools, Meta is looking to expand its insights, to better inform its own development, with the launch of a new ‘Community Forum on Generative AI’, which will see Meta host a range of public sessions designed to gather feedback on the principles that people want to see reflected in these new technologies.
As per Meta:
“We think it’s important that our product and policy decisions around generative AI are informed by people and experts from around the world. To bring more people into this process, we need to innovate with new approaches to governance and decision-making. That’s why we are announcing the launch of a Community Forum designed to generate feedback on the governing principles people want to see reflected in new AI technologies.”
Meta says that its new Community Forum on Generative AI will be held in consultation with Stanford Deliberative Democracy Lab and the Behavioral Insights Team (BIT), and will enable participants to access to educational materials to help them learn more about the concepts discussed, and raise relevant questions about safety, behavioral impacts, societal shifts, and more.
“Community Forums bring people together to discuss tough issues, consider hard choices and share recommendations for improving people’s experiences across our apps. The model is based on deliberative polling, an approach that has been used by governments around the world, in which representative groups have the opportunity to learn about complex issues before sharing their perspectives.”
This is a critical area, and one which should be more widely debated before we push ahead with the next stage of more immersive connection.
Though Meta is also rushing ahead in some respects, with the company recently lowering the age restriction on Meta Quest accounts to 10 years old, down from 13. Those accounts need to be supervised by parents, so it’s not a ‘free for all’ as such – but even so, given the various impacts that have been caused by social media use, we should be looking to implement more stringent testing and process before enabling youngsters, at the least, to engage within these more immersive environments.
Which is what this new forum series is designed for, and hopefully, that’ll lead to more thoughtful discussion and consideration of such in future, to measure and manage the potential impacts before we push ahead, then deal with the consequences in retrospect.
Various regulatory groups are also considering their options on this front, with US Senators now also pushing for AI regulation, with a view to what could become of online harms as a result.
This is a critical area of discussion, and the worst case would be to blindly push on, driven by potential profits, before we understand the full extent of what could happen.
As such, these new forums will hopefully raise relevant questions. And hopefully, tech leaders will also be willing to hear it.