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58 Harv. J. on Legis. 145 (2021)
The Oversight of Content Moderation by AI: Impact Assessments and Their Limitations

handle is hein.journals/hjl58 and id is 145 raw text is: ARTICLE
In a world in which artificial intelligence (AI) systems are increasingly
shaping our environment, as well as our access to and exclusion from opportuni-
ties and resources, it is essential to ensure some form of AI oversight. Such
oversight will help to maintain the rule of law, to protect individual rights, and
to ensure the protection of core democratic values. Nevertheless, achieving AI
oversight is challenging due to the dynamic and opaque nature of such systems.
Recently, in an attempt to increase oversight and accountability for AI systems,
the proposed US Algorithmic Accountability Act introduced mandatory impact
assessment for private entities that deploy automated decision-making systems.
Impact assessment as a means to enhance oversight was likewise recently
adopted under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation. Taken together,
these initiatives mark the latest development in AI oversight policy.
In this paper, we question the merits of impact assessment as a tool for
promoting oversight of AI systems. Using the case of AI systems of content mod-
eration, we highlight the strengths and weaknesses of this oversight tool and
propose how to improve it. Additionally, we argue that even an improved impact
assessment does not fit equally with the oversight challenge raised by different
systems of AI. Especially, impact assessments might be insufficient to oversee AI
systems that are deployed to achieve purposes that could be classified as public,
such as making our online public sphere safer. Meaningful oversight of AI sys-
tems that impose costs on society as a whole, like AI systems of content modera-
tion, cannot be pursued by mechanisms of self-assessment alone. Therefore, as
we suggest in this paper, such systems should be additionally subjected to objec-
tive mechanisms of external oversight.
I. INTRODUCTION ................................................ 146
II. OVERSIGHT OF Al-BASED DECISION-MAKING ............... .              152
A. Notions of Accountability ............................            152
* Senior Research Fellow, Center for Cyber Law and Policy (CCLP), University of Haifa;
Researcher, The Heth Academic Center for Research of Competition and Regulation, College
of Management.
tAssociate Professor, Netanya Academic College, Faculty of Law; Senior Research Fel-
low, Haifa Center for Law & Technology, University of Haifa Faculty of Law. This research
was supported by The Israel Science Foundation (grant No. 1820/17).

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