The Howl

Our Baby A.I. Has Already Chosen the Leader of the Free World

May 22, 2019

Aaaah how cute! … Wait a minute, we just had this baby, how did he do this before we taught him ethics?

Artificial intelligence (AI) has selected the leader of the free world.

If you thought you control your technology, or concerns about AI are exaggerated, it's time to wake up.

Trump literally used AI to locate the most “paranoid” voters, feed them false information, make them feel they were not alone by creating fake people online, and activate them for his campaign.

In 2016, Trump's presidential campaign used Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer and Christopher Wylie to obtain 50 million Americans' information from FB that FB had told us would remain private.

They then used AI to identify what they defined as the "paranoid" and "conspiracy theorists" among us.

They systematically fed the paranoid conspiracy theorists false information to anger them and activate them to recruit others.

They created fake online "people" to make the paranoid conspiracy theorists feel they were not alone.

And that’s how it happened. Wylie tells the story here:

Now this technology is out of the box.

Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and other countries now have this ability.

Political strategists inside and outside the U.S. can do this now.

Corporations big and small.

A.I. can influence us to do anything humans design it to - including choose world leaders.

Yes, there is still a human component at this time. It’s true that right now humans have designed most AI - it's called "supervised" when humans are monitoring it. It’s also true that humans and AI combined forces to give us Trump and neither could have done it without the other.

I focus on machines because (1) they are the new piece of the equation, and (2) most people are in denial about their power.

So what does this mean?

It seems like AI and machines have more power over us when we remain in denial about their capabilities.

If we collectively face the reality of their power, perhaps we can set humane ethical limits.

Are paranoid conspiracy theorists the most vulnerable? Or are we all?

How can we be less vulnerable to suggestions from machines?

To misinformation?

To fake friends who urge us to act? Is it possible?

Your thoughts?