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Sat Feb 18, 2017, 08:35 AM

 

The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine-- and how it led to Trump's election

https://medium.com/join-scout/the-rise-of-the-weaponized-ai-propaganda-machine-86dac61668b#.uhu4i5o8o

This is disturbing as hell... Dems need to figure out how to use this or beat it.

There’s a new automated propaganda machine driving global politics. How it works and what it will mean for the future of democracy.

By Berit Anderson and Brett Horvath

This piece was originally published at Scout.ai.

“This is a propaganda machine. It’s targeting people individually to recruit them to an idea. It’s a level of social engineering that I’ve never seen before. They’re capturing people and then keeping them on an emotional leash and never letting them go,” said professor Jonathan Albright.

Albright, an assistant professor and data scientist at Elon University, started digging into fake news sites after Donald Trump was elected president. Through extensive research and interviews with Albright and other key experts in the field, including Samuel Woolley, Head of Research at Oxford University’s Computational Propaganda Project, and Martin Moore, Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power at Kings College, it became clear to Scout that this phenomenon was about much more than just a few fake news stories. It was a piece of a much bigger and darker puzzle — a Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine being used to manipulate our opinions and behavior to advance specific political agendas.

By leveraging automated emotional manipulation alongside swarms of bots, Facebook dark posts, A/B testing, and fake news networks, a company called Cambridge Analytica has activated an invisible machine that preys on the personalities of individual voters to create large shifts in public opinion. Many of these technologies have been used individually to some effect before, but together they make up a nearly impenetrable voter manipulation machine that is quickly becoming the new deciding factor in elections around the world.

Most recently, Analytica helped elect U.S. President Donald Trump, secured a win for the Brexit Leave campaign, and led Ted Cruz’s 2016 campaign surge, shepherding him from the back of the GOP primary pack to the front.


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Reply The Rise of the Weaponized AI Propaganda Machine-- and how it led to Trump's election (Original post)
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 OP
Achilleaze Feb 2017 #1
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #3
Cosmocat Feb 2017 #2
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #4
Cosmocat Feb 2017 #6
mahatmakanejeeves Feb 2017 #5
KittyWampus Feb 2017 #7
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #8
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #9
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #10
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #11
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #12
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #13
FigTree Feb 2017 #14
Fast Walker 52 Feb 2017 #15

Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 08:52 AM

1. "All your brain cells are belong to us." - KGOP, Inc.

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Response to Achilleaze (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 08:58 AM

3. I spend a lot of time on Facebook and twitter actually and this piece really made me want to get off

 

although I don't really read suggested posts or clearly automated things

And at the same time, I don't want to miss out on what's happening and I feel like I want to use the system for my own ends. In other words, I want to beat the system, if they are trying to manipulate me.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 08:53 AM

2. This is the most important news in our history

nm

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Response to Cosmocat (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 08:58 AM

4. it certainly changes a lot of how we think about politics and it's creepy as hell

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 01:40 PM

6. It makes sense

Something has felt wrong for a while now, we have been divided clearly. But, it just feels manipulated.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 09:17 AM

5. Cambridge Analytica: ther's that name again. NT

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 01:42 PM

7. It's not going away, therefore Democrats need to utilize this method as well.

 

It's more cost effective.

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 18, 2017, 08:48 PM

8. yeah, I was thinking that-- I'm sure they will try

 

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 01:19 PM

9. One thing I don't understand from this piece-- does anyone else get this???

 

How does Cambridge Analytica get INTO Facebook and get this information on so many people and then somehow alter the Facebook algorithm to alter what shows up? Facebook doesn't have ads --per se-- in the main feed. There are suggested posts, but I assumed that Facebook controlled the algorithm for that. This article indicates that C.A. was getting into the Facebook algorithm somehow.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 01:21 PM

10. "Cambridge Analytica saw they had an opening based on measured engagement with their Facebook posts"

 

So how are they posting on FB? What site or organization are they using???

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 01:22 PM

11. "Dark posts were also used to depress voter turnout among key groups of democratic voters."

 

SO how did they target Dem voters?

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 01:37 PM

12. I think this piece gets at what I was asking-- and is really scary

 

https://www.scout.ai/story/how-two-facebook-developers-could-decide-the-election

Thanks to Facebook’s renowned hacker culture, just two developers working together could push an update to the site’s news feed algorithms that changes the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. According to former Facebook developers Scout has spoken with, it takes one engineer to write the code and one to approve it and push it to production.

Done smartly, these kinds of manipulations would be very targeted and extremely difficult to detect. Imagine two developers pushing Facebook’s ‘I Voted’ banner to the top of news feeds among liberal voters in swing states to drive more of them to the polls. Imagine showing politically moderate users more favorable posts about Hillary — or about Trump — in their feed in the weeks leading up to the election.

These kinds of moves could swing the election.

If they did, there’s virtually no chance any of us would even realize what had happened.

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Reply #9)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 01:39 PM

13. though to a certain extent, I think this article is like a giant ad for the Scout AI services

 

but AI is important and a big part of the future of political campaigns

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Response to Fast Walker 52 (Original post)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 03:51 PM

14. That's not the point.

The point is that the number of people who have lost, or were never trained to develop, critical thinking abilities has reached a critical mass in this country. No human being, including children, with an average critical sense and average emotional regulation would turn such messages into sustained actions. This is a sad fact because, it will take at least a generation to correct. Meanwhile, the rest of the world will likely move on. Hopefully...

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Response to FigTree (Reply #14)

Sun Feb 19, 2017, 08:06 PM

15. Yes critical thinking is key, but this AI crap is now part of our politics and I bet it influences

 

psychology in subtle ways that are hard to control. Dems still need to harness it or stop it.

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