The Canadian government plans to regulate the use of artificial intelligence in search results and when used to prioritize the display of content on search engines and social media services. AI is widely used by both search and social media for a range of purpose that do not involve ChatGPT-style generative AI. For example, Google has identified multiple ways that it uses AI to generate search results, provide translation, and other features, while TikTok uses AI to identify the interests of its users through recommendation engines. The regulation plans are revealed in a letter from ISED Minister François-Philippe Champagne to the Industry committee studying Bill C-27, the privacy reform and AI regulation bill. The government is refusing to disclose the actual text of planned amendments to the bill.
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Canada Plans to Regulate Search and Social Media Use of Artificial Intelligence for Content Moderation and Discoverability
What the CRTC’s New Registration Requirements Mean for Regulating Everything from Online News Services to Podcast Providers
The CRTC last week released the first two of what is likely to become at least a dozen decisions involving the Online Streaming Act (aka Bill C-11). The decision, which attracted considerable commentary over the weekend, involves mandatory registration rules for audio and visual services that include far more than the large streaming services. The Commission says the registrations would give it “de minimis information about online undertakings and their activities in Canada, which would give the Commission an initial understanding of the Canadian online broadcasting landscape and would allow it to communicate with online undertakings.” By contrast, the inclusion of registration requirements for a wide range of undertakings, including some podcast services, online news sites, adult content sites, and social media left some characterizing it as a podcast registry or part of “one of the world’s most repressive online censorship schemes.” So what’s the reality? As is often the case, it is not as bad as critics would suggest, but not nearly as benign as the CRTC would have you believe.
The Law Bytes Podcast, Episode 92: A Conversation with Senator Paula Simons on Copyright, the Internet and the Future of Media in Canada
Earlier this year, Senator Claude Carignan introduced Bill S-225, a bill that purports to address concerns about the viability of the Canadian media sector by amending the Copyright Act. The Senate has been studying the bill in recent weeks with Senator Paula Simons serving as the bill critic and one of the leads on the issue. Senator Simons was a longtime journalist before being appointed to the Senate and while an ardent supporter of local journalism, she has been critical of the proposed legislation. She joins the Law Bytes podcast to discuss the state of journalism in Canada, why she doesn’t think the social media companies “stole” stories from the media, and what Canada should be doing to encourage innovation in the media sector.
The Broadcasting Act Blunder series has focused for the past two days on inaccurate claims from Canadian Heritage Minister Steven Guilbeault that the bill contains significant economic thresholds as a guardrail against over-regulation and excludes news from its ambit. As I noted, the bill does no such thing, though the CRTC will be able to establish regulatory exemptions once it conducts extensive hearings on implementing the legislation should it pass (prior posts in the Broadcasting Act Blunder series include Day 1: Why there is no Canadian Content Crisis, Day 2: What the Government Doesn’t Say About Creating a “Level Playing Field”, Day 3: Minister Guilbeault Says Bill C-10 Contains Economic Thresholds That Limit Internet Regulation. It Doesn’t, Day 4: Why Many News Sites are Captured by Bill C-10).
One type of service that is narrowly exempted from the new regulation in Bill C-10 is user generated content services, referred to in the bill as social media services. The bill states:
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