GETTING-Plurality Open Research Questions
The GETTING-Plurality research network recently launched in the Allen Lab for Democracy Renovation at Harvard University and Edmond and Lily Safra Center for Ethics to bring together various researchers focused on how to shape, guide, govern, and deploy technological development in support of democracy, collective intelligence, and other public goods.
In the last month, GETTING-Plurality network members have developed an open and collaborative list of research priorities in response to the recent advances in artificial intelligence. These questions were sourced by network members, prioritized using a plural voting system, and are now published on Github for broader community contribution. These top questions will guide our network members’ focus over the upcoming months.
Major Themes of Research
As we consider the dual-use implications of artificial intelligence, we’ve primarily clustered our work around three major themes:
- Defending and evolving democracy to be resilient against adversarial attacks via technological tools
- Democratically governing technological tools
- Harnessing these technological tools to reimagine democracy
Open Repository of Research Questions
Within these major themes, the research network has collectively pooled current open research questions that we are sharing broadly today on github. Our aim is to (a) share the current questions our research network members see as a priority (b) have the broader community contribute to this open repository and (c) solicit relevant collaboration from other individuals or organizations working in similar research areas.
Some of the top research questions our network members have identified are:
- How can deliberative public participation shape the future of technological development? What new technologies, governance mechanisms, and practices will be necessary to develop a digital public commons safe from corporate capture and overwhelming privatization?
- How might LLMs distort the ‘digital public sphere’ by enabling the spread of mis/disinformation? How might these distortions feedback and poison model training data?
- To guide regulatory approaches, what analogies can we draw between contemporary technological development and past regulatory success and failures?
While these are just a sample of questions we are thinking about, we encourage you to see our full repository of open questions and contribute to this list here: https://github.com/gettingplurality/openresearchquestions
We hope this repository continues to grow with contributions to research questions we are missing and that we can continue to build this out by linking relevant work and researchers tackling each of these questions.
With these themes and questions guiding our work, the GETTING-Plurality research network will be focused on a few upcoming projects. To address the questions of deliberative public participation, we’ll continue work with our impact partner, Collective Intelligence Project, to explore how new tools such as Polis or new approaches such as Bridging Systems might be used to enhance our digital public commons. For example, recently CIP hosted a conversation using Polis on the topic of generative AI (results can be found here) and will continue to lead a series of collective input processes designed to produce actionable guidance for AI labs and policymakers.
Many of our upcoming efforts will have an emphasis on guidance for policymakers, as we have recently kicked off working groups focused on governance considerations, workshops for global regulators on AI and web3 technologies, and AI alignment across multiple stakeholders.
The research questions, risks, and opportunities for democracy spurred by artificial intelligence will require mutlti-disciplinary collaboration across academia, government, and industry. If you have suggestions, relevant work, or are interested in collaborating, please reach out to us at email@example.com.