Rand Paul said on Tuesday that Artificial Intelligence could threaten one of Americans’ most basic civil liberties: free speech.
“The government is using your hard-earned tax dollars to surveil and censor your protected speech. Artificial Intelligence is only going to make it easier for the government to do this and harder to detect,” Paul said during a Homeland Security committee hearing. “This should not be a partisan issue. We must get to the bottom of how the federal government uses artificial intelligence to violate the privacy and civil liberties of the American people before it’s too late.”
Paul expressed similar concerns on the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton radio show after his Tuesday committee hearing.
“When I first read 1984 when I was a kid, I was concerned. But I really wasn’t alarmed,” Paul explained. “I said ‘Hey, government doesn’t have two-way television screens. They can’t surveil all of us all the time, because they don’t have the technology.’”
The senator continued, “We now have the technology, and the technology itself is not evil or bad. Technology is neither. Technology is neutral. But it is technology that controls a great amount of information.”
.@RandPaul warns about the danger of gov't using AI to regulate free speech on social media.
— The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show (@clayandbuck) May 16, 2023
Paul detailed how AI could be a more effective tool for the government to suppress speech and information.
“So if the government decides to use artificial intelligence on Twitter or social media to look for certain phrases that they find to be ‘disinformation’ that the government doesn’t like,” he said.
“Let’s say, for example, that I say ‘COVID vaccines aren’t really necessary for children that have already had COVID,’ there’s a lot of scientific evidence to back that up, but it’s an opinion and you can have an alternative opinion,” Paul said. “But what if those codewords are put into an algorithm? Artificial intelligence then trolls the internet and then the government takes down comments it doesn’t like.”
“That’s a real First Amendment problem,” Paul claimed.