“Fake News” Must Learn to Regulate Itself!

Digital interaction has surpassed interpersonal interaction — even grandmothers primarily interact with their grandchildren via iPad.  Almost everything we do can be done via an App or online, before long that’ll be the only way we can do anything. We have a word for this and that is “critical infrastructure,” and as a society we need to be aware of how this information infrastructure can be used against us or to control us.

We are recklessly sprinting into an unmapped digital future. Crashing traditional business models that have endured for hundreds of years, and inventing new ones along the way. Losing and gaining new jobs at break-neck speed. The only plan being what is profitable and possible.

Think about how much digital marketers, cyber-criminals and foreign intelligence services know about us from the constant data breaches and our daily digital life. We use our phones to conduct and document almost every aspect of modern life.  Thus, you can easily map most of the dimensions of human personality and then use them to present attractive options to consumers or to bend and target messages in inappropriate ways. Our social discourse is so bad right now that we are unreliable verifiers of truth. We may need to leave it up to the machines. Or another way to put this: artificial intelligence may be an imperative for the future of our society and our world.

The dangers a post-truth digital world pose to human institutions are hard to quantify, scary to contemplate, and easily observable in the world around us, every day. Be it election maskirovka or plain old “fake news” and no matter your political or personal lens, human institutions are no longer able to reliably regulate truth.

Truth is going to have to self-regulate. That is a phenomenal application for artificial intelligence. “Computer! Solve the equation: What’s the likelihood something is true, given everything else you know about it? And a little help with the spin too, please.”

These days saying you use artificial intelligence is already almost like saying you use the Java programming language, mundane. There are a dizzying array of AI algorithms. Each is optimized to some specific application or purpose, understanding how and when to apply them requires subject matter expertise and deep math but it’s doable. In fact, that’s what we do here at Respond Software, we teach mathematics what we used to teach humans about catching hackers, and thus free today’s analysts from monitoring a boring but critical console so they can use their creativity and curiosity to provide better security for our digital businesses and lives.

If the digital future has to fend for itself or defend its own integrity, we are in the process of teaching it how. The agreement, “We’ll keep you turned on, and you save us from ourselves.”