By Susanna Granieri

The rise of generative artificial intelligence has led to questions about its First Amendment implications — like its use by journalists or its application in defamation law — but it remains unclear how the nation’s courts will consider its potential impacts on the marketplace of ideas.

The technology itself does not have rights, but humans utilize technology – like radio, television and the internet – for their own expression.

The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression has stated that because of these prior applications of First Amendment protection, that “the use of artificial intelligence to create, disseminate, and receive information should be protected.”

“Any government restriction on the expressive use of AI needs to be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental purpose, and the regulation must restrict as little expression as is necessary to achieve that purpose,” FIRE wrote.

First Amendment Watch spoke with Jacob Mchangama, the founder and executive director of The Future of Free Speech at Vanderbilt University, about artificial intelligence and his latest piece in TIME magazine, “The Future of Censorship Is AI-Generated.” Mchangama discussed how defamation cases may arise from generative AI, his concerns over government involvement in censoring certain AI-generated content, and the importance of skepticism when using AI and evaluating its capabilities.

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