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Welcome to the Official Schedule for RightsCon Toronto 2018. This year’s program, built by our global community, is our most ambitious one yet. Within the program, you will find 18 thematic tracks to help you navigate our 450+ sessions

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Last updated: Version 2.3 (Updated May 15, 2018).

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Thursday, May 17 • 12:00 - 13:15
This Panel May Contain Sensitive Content: Automated Filtering and the Future of Free Expression Online

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Who chooses what you can say online? Social media companies and search engines are under growing pressure from governments, their user base to address the existence and apparent proliferation of pernicious online behaviour on their platforms such as hate speech, terrorist recruitment, and targeted harassment. In response, many public- and private-sector researchers are exploring engineering solutions that make use of machine learning to automatically filter and remove content.

This roundtable discussion will feature input from policy, social-science, technical experts as we discuss: What are the risks of this move to automation in communications governance? What are the underlying values we seek to preserve? And how can we better communicate with both the public and policymakers about these developments?

The overarching goal of the workshop is to build participants’ capacity to understand and engage with the complex topic of AI and communication regulation and develop projects for future collaboration. Participants will come away with a better understanding of the current technical capabilities and limits of automation across a variety of content and methods of analysis and a core set of risks and necessary safeguards to avoid the harmful consequences of thoughtless automation in content regulation. This roundtable will be a useful convening opportunity for free expression advocates, academics, and industry to share ideas and strategies for engaging with policymakers and the public on these complex and important topics.

avatar for Emma Llanso

Emma Llanso

Director, Free Expression Project, Center for Democracy & Technology


Natasha Duarte

Policy Analyst, Center for Democracy & Technology
avatar for Jonathan Penn

Jonathan Penn

University of Cambridge
Doctoral researcher studying the history and philosophy of artificial intelligence at the University of Cambridge. Google Technology Policy Fellow at the European Youth Forum working on the impact of artificial intelligence on life for young people in Europe. Former fellow at MIT... Read More →
avatar for Amy Zhang

Amy Zhang

Researcher, MIT CSAIL
online harassment, misinformation, collaboration tools, discussion tools

Thursday May 17, 2018 12:00 - 13:15 EDT