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Abstract: In this talk, I will explore the transformative potential of communicative artificial intelligence (AI) on the foundations of free speech. While optimistic perspectives propose that AI will catalyze and equalize political participation, others express concern that it could potentially exert detrimental effects, thereby threatening our autonomy and free speech. I will discuss how communicative AI shifts our conceptualization of technology from a mere tool to an active partner in decision-making processes and content generation. Two key concepts, “content regimes” and “visibility regimes,” will be introduced to elucidate AI’s influence on public discourse and free speech. Content regimes are AI-powered systems that dictate the nature and type of information we engage with, while visibility regimes control the prominence given to such information. By examining these regimes, I aim to assess their implications on political viewpoints and free speech. I will also present recent empirical work on public perception concerning AI’s role in free speech.

Bio: Petter Bae Brandtzaeg is a professor in media innovation at the University of Oslo and a Chief Scientist at SINTEF Digital. He has a specialized focus on the human-AI relationship. His research delves into how people interact with and are influenced by social media and artificial intelligence, shaping our understanding of the ethical and societal implications of AI technologies. His work has been featured in international news outlets such as ACM News, The Guardian and The New York Times. Hi is currently leading the research project “An AI Powered Society”.