Rise of AI Moderators: Enhancing Fairness, Efficiency in Public Discourse – Newsweek

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In the dynamic world of public discourse, the role of the moderator is critical, guiding discussions at conferences, debates and interviews to ensure they remain relevant and civil. As passionate tinkerers with a deep background in conference organization and a profound belief in the transformative power of artificial intelligence, we’ve always been intrigued by the potential to enhance user experience through technology. This drive led us to develop “BiBi,” a conversational AI panel moderator, marking a significant shift in how moderated sessions are conducted and perceived.


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Our journey began with a desire to create better experiences for attendees and showcase how technology can make interactions more conversational and engaging. Today, BiBi stands as a testament to our commitment, promising to revolutionize public discourse by enhancing fairness, reducing bias and enriching discussions across various settings. Let’s explore how AI moderators like BiBi can transform the landscape of moderated events.

Human moderators, despite their best intentions, come with inherent limitations. Even well-intentioned moderators can unconsciously introduce bias based on their personal beliefs, experiences or cultural backgrounds, potentially skewing discussions. Maintaining consistency in moderation quality and rules across different sessions and topics can be challenging for humans, who may vary in their energy levels and attention throughout an event. Furthermore, humans can only retain and recall a finite amount of information, which might restrict their ability to fact-check or provide context during discussions.

Participants and a moderator (far right) are pictured at an “AI: Hype vs. Reality” panel during the the Juggernaut Summit on September 22, 2023, in New York City. AI moderators can transform the landscape of…
Participants and a moderator (far right) are pictured at an “AI: Hype vs. Reality” panel during the the Juggernaut Summit on September 22, 2023, in New York City. AI moderators can transform the landscape of moderated events, the authors write.

Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

AI moderators such as BiBi are designed to address these challenges effectively. They can be programmed to follow strict, predefined rules without personal bias or emotional influence, ensuring neutrality and consistency in moderation, which is crucial in debates and interviews where fairness is paramount. AI moderators can access vast databases of information in real time, providing accurate fact-checking and enriching the discussion with relevant data and statistics. This capability not only enhances the credibility of the discourse but also keeps the conversation informed and grounded in facts.

The efficiency and adaptability of AI moderators make them particularly useful in large conferences or multi-panel events. They can manage multiple discussions simultaneously and adjust their approach based on the audience and context. Without the fear of personal repercussions, AI moderators can pose more challenging and probing questions, leading to deeper insights and more rigorous discussions, pushing participants to clarify their positions and think critically. Through machine learning algorithms, AI moderators like BiBi can continually improve their questioning tactics and understanding of complex topics based on past interactions.

AI moderators are increasingly being utilized across various platforms and industries, mostly in code or text form, to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of moderation. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram use AI to automate the moderation of abusive content, including hate speech and cyberbullying. E-commerce and dating websites employ AI to moderate sexually explicit or inappropriate content through image processing technologies. AI is crucial for moderating live content during real-time events and streams, where rapid analysis of content is necessary. YouTube uses AI moderators to scan and moderate video content, leveraging computer vision technology. User-generated content platforms handle vast amounts of content using AI moderation tools, ensuring compliance with community guidelines. Gaming and online communities, such as Microsoft‘s Azure AI Content Safety, moderate user-generated game artifacts and chat rooms. AI moderation services also filter out inappropriate content in educational materials.

The transition from traditional content moderation to conversational AI is marked by advancements in natural language processing and machine learning, enabling AI systems like BiBi to facilitate and enhance human interaction in real time. BiBi serves as a proof of concept for more engaging and valuable panel discussions, demonstrating how conversational AI can transform public discourse.

As conversational and voice AI technologies continue to mature, we are witnessing a paradigm shift where the future of user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) is becoming increasingly conversational. The potential applications of these technologies extend well beyond their current use cases, promising to revolutionize a multitude of sectors. In the workplace, AI moderators could oversee virtual meetings and collaborative projects so discussions remain on topic and equitable, summarizing key points and action items automatically. This could enhance productivity and ensure all voices are heard equally, minimizing dominance by more assertive personalities.

In educational settings, conversational AI could serve not just as a moderator but as a dynamic facilitator for group discussions, debates and peer learning. AI could adapt discussions based on the comprehension levels of students, ask probing questions to deepen understanding and provide instant feedback. Customer service could be revolutionized by AI handling initial inquiries and moderating multiparty negotiations or support sessions, with customer concerns addressed efficiently and without bias.

Government and public sector meetings could be moderated by AI to ensure compliance with regulations, streamline decision-making processes and maintain records of discussions for transparency and accountability. In health care, conversational AI could moderate discussions between patients and multiple specialists so that all relevant information is considered and communicated clearly during consultations.

These future applications not only illustrate the versatility of conversational AI but also underscore its potential to foster more organized, fair, and productive interactions across a spectrum of human activities. As these technologies integrate deeper into our social and professional fabrics, the importance of managing and developing them responsibly grows so they augment human capabilities while preserving essential human values.

As we explore the expanding capabilities of conversational and voice AI, it becomes clear that these technologies offer distinct advantages over human moderators that are critical for our increasingly digital and fast-paced world. AI systems such as BiBi can process vast amounts of information instantaneously and with precision, far surpassing human capabilities in consistency and neutrality. This allows for a level of fairness in moderation that is hard to achieve with human moderators, who may bring unconscious biases into their decision-making. Additionally, AI’s ability to learn and adapt continually from data means that these systems can improve over time, offering increasingly refined insights and responses that can dynamically evolve with the needs of the discussion.

By integrating AI moderators into various sectors—ranging from education to public service—we not only enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of these interactions but also pave the way for a future where discussions are more inclusive, balanced and informed. The adoption of AI moderators promises not just to support but to transform how we communicate so that we leverage the best of technology to foster clearer, fairer and more productive dialogue.

Driven by their passion for technology and extensive experience in conference organization, Ralph Quintero and Gianni D’Alerta are the co-founders of Purple Horizons, an innovative firm dedicated to harnessing the power of AI to improve public discourse and user experience.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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