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Artificial Intelligence Spreading Disinformation

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

U.S. military leaders “are right to be alarmed” by the impact of artificial intelligence on future operations, warns a new research paper published by the Association of the U.S. Army’s Institute of Land Warfare.

Written by Maj. Christopher Telley, an Army information operations officer, the paper says automatic information operations with the ability to influence tens of thousands of people at once have “grave implications for U.S. national security.”

His paper, “The Influence Machine: Automated Information Operations as a Strategic Defeat Mechanism,” can be downloaded here: https://www.ausa.org/publications/influence-machine-automated-information-operations-strategic-defeat-mechanism.

Automated systems have tools that give every appearance of being human but actually have a machine-driven operations capability of quickly and widely distributing misleading information, he writes. This military-oriented tool is an offshoot of online marketing that previously was used to sell cars, soap and other products but is more sophisticated.

“Next-generation bot armies, powered by simple reinforcement learning, will employ much faster computing techniques and profit from substantially greater network speeds when 5G services are fielded,” Telley writes.

The U.S. needs to develop quick ways to respond, with the ability to hack a system faster than disinformation can spread, Telley writes.