SANTA MONICA, Calif. – The Internet of Things and social media once held great promises. They promised to facilitate interconnectivity that would make human lives more manageable and ease communication.
But the reality is that IOT and social media have been co-opted by big business and governments to sell products to consumers, promote influence campaigns, and sell user’s information to the highest bidder making people across the world followers, and content slaves rather than individuals and free-thinkers.
For more than 20 years, people have been communicating via social media. People across the world receive their news via user generated content posted on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. In the beginning, politicians and the news media convinced American people and others across the world to follow them via social media. The news media and politicians helped to create the tribal communities in which some people want us to live. For example, when Anderson Cooper tells his viewers to follow him on social media, he is trying to persuade and convince his viewers to be followers, to stop thinking for themselves, and live within the news silos in which his company promotes.
The same can be said about Tucker Carlson and Elon Musk. They are purveyors of persuasion and conductors of thought control. It is in their best interest to keep users fixed on their messages and ignore the reality their lives.
Social media is used by the U.S. government. During the Obama administration, social media flourished. Indeed, one of the founders of Facebook, helped Obama’s presidential campaign in 2008 and 2012.
The presidential election of 2016 again relied heavily on social media. In 2016, presidential hopefuls Donald J. Trump and Ted Cruz relied on Cambridge Analytica to provide big data tools to their republican campaigns. Cambridge Analytica gathered user information from Facebook, created profiles, and then targeted users with campaign messages designed to persuade and influence resulting in a culture war that eventually divided the United States.
Today, Internet users across the world are flooded with messages. Some of those messages are created by people, but some of those messages are now created by programmable BOTS. Now there are powerful AI programs that can respond with human-like answers to real questions posed by real humans. During the 2016 election, the Internet Research Agency, a Russian government backed entity based in St. Petersburg, deployed BOTS on both Twitter and Facebook to influence the U.S. elections.
If social media companies will not regulate themselves, who will? Governments around the world, should heavily regulate deed-fake technology and regulate the use of AI ChatBots to preserve democracy and protect citizens, including children.
Today, the ChatBots and deep-fake technology are so powerful, that users on the Internet are unable to distinguish truth from fiction.
We live in a world where we cannot believe anything we see on-line via social media.
Allow me to create a hypothetical scenario how deep-fakes and ChatBots could be used to do additional real-life harm or at least create panic, similar to the panic Orson Welles created in his live broadcast of the 1938 War of the Worlds and martian invasion.
- Deliver the following material to a global audience within 30 minutes via social media.
- Create a deep-fake of President Putin announcing a nuclear launch against Ukraine. Leak to and promote on Facebook via Bots and target people who follow or promote conspiracy theories.
- Create deep-fakes of President Zelensky and President Biden responding to Putin’s manufactured / hypothetical launching of nuclear warheads. Program Bots that promote deep-fakes on previously created accounts on Twitter and TikTok that targets users who promote fringe material.
- Create a deep-fake movie of Russian nuclear warheads heading toward Ukraine, Taiwan, and the United States. Create and stream video live to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. Have AI and Bots promote reinforcing videos of missiles in the sky on previously created accounts via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and TikTok.
- Create A1 video of nuclear bombs falling on Ukraine and videos of Ukrainians preparing for the bombings. Stream footage to Twitter and Facebooks account that promote news media.
The technology exists to create these hypothetical scenarios. Can the U.S. government, or any government, protect their citizens from the above hypothetical situation? Is it time for the people of the world to stop following and start leading their own lives? Is it time for people to understand that social media companies are only interested in turning their users’s into products that can be bought and sold like slaves on the auction block of modernity? Is it time for people actively stop allowing themselves to be commodified by people who don’t care about them?