Saturday, August 22, 2020

"Cognitive hacking as the new disinformation frontier"

 From FT Alphaville, August 14:
By Izabella Kaminska
Persuasion doesn’t need to influence the majority of the public to be effective. It’s enough to convince just one per cent of a population to destabilise a democracy pretty effectively with protests, rioting and a collapse in institutional trust. So the question that really needs asking is: how hard is it to radicalise one per cent of the public with modern, weaponised forms of persuasion?
The answer, experts say, is dangerously easy.

Those who specialise in the field of the persuasive arts told FT Alphaville that in 2020 new cognitive hacking technology means digitally-crafted propaganda has power like never before and the biggest risk to cognitive security is now AI-driven influence hiding behind “secret” algorithms on social media platforms.

For a moment, remove from the equation whether the social movements erupting across western democracies in 2020 are justified or not. The intention of this post is not to analyse the tenets of these movements, but rather to consider if it’s possible, whether by propaganda, social conditioning or amplified feedback loops, to radicalise well-intentioned people to turn against their own interests. In other words, can a good cause be intentionally weaponised against a population without their knowledge?

What we know is that the potential gain for a foreign adversary to purposefully radicalise elements of any social movement is potentially incalculable. The risk on their end, meanwhile, is trivial not least because every facet of the technology already exists....

We'll have more of Izzy's recent stuff tomorrow, along with some commentary, Joe Biden, Jeff Gundlach, Richard Feynman, Michael Crichton and a cast of thousands.

So, What Has The Financial Times' Izabella Kaminska Been Up To?
The Recent Work Being Done By The FT's Izabella Kaminska Is Important...