RSM welcomes Robert Gorwa and Michael Veale for a discussion of their research into the governance questions raised by the moderation of model marketplaces.
The AI development community is increasingly making use of hosting intermediaries intended to provide easy public access to a wide range of ‘open’ models and training data. These model marketplaces lower technical deployment barriers for hundreds of thousands of lay users, allowing them, for instance, to easily interact with and customize image-generation models, and to share and socially interact with the images created in the process. In this talk, we will explore the growing ecosystem of these various AI hosting intermediaries from HuggingFace to Civitai, discussing the political economic context, their social and technical affordances, and underlying business models. We will then turn to a discussion of the emerging governance issues that these platforms are currently grappling with, with a focus on the slow development of community guidelines and moderation practices in the image-generation model platform space. In the face of increasing public and private scrutiny, how are these new companies responding? And how might these platforms better mobilize resources to act as a careful, fair, and proportionate regulatory access point?
Robert Gorwa is a postdoctoral research fellow at the WZB Berlin Social Science Center. He conducts interdisciplinary empirical and conceptual research addressing the politics of technology policy with a special interest in government-industry relations and emerging socio-technical governance arrangements in the platform economy. Gorwa received his doctorate from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford and is currently a fellow at the Center for Democracy and Technology and Centre for International Governance Innovation, as well as a co-founder of the Platform Governance Research Network (PlatGovNet). His first book, The Politics of Platform Regulation, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press.
Michael Veale is Associate Professor in digital rights and regulation, and Vice-Dean (Education Innovation) at University College London’s Faculty of Laws. His research focuses on how to understand and address challenges of power and justice that digital technologies and their users create and exacerbate, in areas such as privacy-enhancing technologies and machine learning. This work is regularly cited by legislators, regulators and governments, and Dr Veale has consulted for a range of policy organizations including the Royal Society and British Academy, the Law Society of England and Wales, the European Commission, the Commonwealth Secretariat. Dr Veale holds a PhD from UCL, a MSc from Maastricht University and a BSc from LSE. He tweets at @mikarv.