AI, Social Media, and the Internet of Things

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Of course, I’m inclined to come to this conclusion, but sometimes I have to remark how often I find traditional Christian prescriptions for society to be an obvious antidote to the bogeymen that haunt our near future.  Richard Fernandez has a brief essay on PJMedia noting that, even as our nation’s tech giants attempt to push their high-tech influence machines into every area of our lives, hostile nations like Russia are experimenting with ways to leverage the resulting access for their own benefit.  Here’s the key part, though:

The conventional wisdom is that Putin’s information ops were meant to benefit Trump. But the record shows the Kremlin backed both sides. An even more devastating strategy was to destroy political discourse — and freedom — itself. A network flooded with spurious messages (“fake news”) will tend to zero trust operating on the principle “never trust, always verify.” Eventually “micro-segmentation and granular perimeters” — the echo chambers and conspiracy circles so familiar today — will emerge and paralyze action. Foer writes how “the tide had turned so quickly. The biggest problem is that Facebook and Google are these giant feedback loops that give people what they want to hear. And when you use them in a world where your biases are being constantly confirmed, you become susceptible to fake news, propaganda, demagoguery.”

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The answer is obvious:  Never close all of the windows through which you hear contrary opinions, no matter how much you think they’re just aggressive noise.  More fundamentally, that requires us to maintain a respect for our fellow human beings’ worth and a concern for their well being especially when they are in error.

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