The plight of a world where the lines of software and humans are being dulled.
With the suffocating presence of a tiresome digital environment swarming with bots, mistruths, and images of impossible Slovakian beauties searching for love, it’s high time to feverishly embellish and shout out could-be famous quotes of fiction, or something as equally as impulsive and quirky in reaffirming an appreciation for the flawed, and wonderful raw zaniness of humanity. In a testament to the expertly crafted forces of evolution spanning billions of years and deftly tinkering with and sculpting the brain’s creative synapses, it’s all about using it or losing it, and the latter option seems like a sobering and disappointing fate as society is smack dab in the vortex of the information age.
The obscure call to action may seem a trite impulsive, illogical, and random, but leans more towards the line of duty, than simply an ineffectual token gesture in establishing the initial reinforcements in the battlefield of potentially epic repercussions. In the early stages of a high- stakes game, the wise move is not overreach in providing a gifted opponent with any sort of advantage.
Or maybe the temporary state of insanity rivaling the frenzied incredulous vitriol of the CNN brass at the New York megacenter employing mental gymnastics and questionable data in misleading colleagues to order Chinese take-out instead of Americana cuisine, simply could be the understandable response to ruefully discovering that the majority of message board chums and social networking friends and political advocates are in fact some sort of robot? It’s hard to tell these days.
Machines have reached a threshold of learning and communication that is passable to the standards of the masses, and researchers are scrambling to develop Turing tests that assist in differentiating between the “what is” construct of complex mathematical formulas, and what is actually real. The ugly aftertaste of the 2016 election still resounds with the continued proliferation of rogue algorithms attaching themselves to user accounts with all the grace and subtlety as an insatiable viral element, however they possess qualities and personalities virtually indiscernible from the linguistic tendencies of legitimate account holders.
Of course Alan Turing, considered as one of the forefathers of the modern computer, was a trail blazing 20th century mathematician, and warned that there could be a day when machine intelligence was virtually indistinguishable from human thought processes. Turing adopted a series of protocol to determine if messages were originated from a person or through a device. Fortunately, the work of the legendary scientist, is being applied in a campaign to limit the damage for bots pelting the internet collective consciousness with disinformation.
Wall Street Journal writer Asa Fitch, penned this eye-opening and interactive article, alerting readers that the deliberate disruptive elements currently afflicting social media, pale in comparison to latest gen of software creations capable of authoring and disseminating what appears to be legitimate news story, complete with author, title and readable content. On the front line of this developing situation, disciples of Turing have compiled digital engines that can hunt down felonious and illegitimate compositions pawned off as news, and alerting readers to avoid. The classic newspaper industry did not help the current predicament, as decades upon decades of wire stories written in a strict and generalized format catering to the idea of being universally interchangeable, was apparently the perfect template for programming code mimicking the mainstream, while managing to avoid the obscure. Combine the emergence of auto-journalism and the prevalence of social networking androids in pointing to a doorway that is closing fast in society clinging to a healthy perspective in embracing truth over convenience.
Everyone in this day and age, has a faithful social media pen pal such as Susan or Joe that is too good to be true, a persona that is only encountered through a computer or a device and sparks the slightest hint of suspicion that is swiftly relieved by a powerful hit of instant gratification, so who cares anyway, and that is the saving grace to this chaotic maelstrom of fair and altruistic game of Three card- Monte? Right?
The smack in the face realization that “Joe” from Ellensburg is not a fun loving football fan and family guy possessing an unorthodox, yet suitable wit, but in actuality the latest Mark-IV generation of a unified Korean hacking consortium prototype hijacked directly from the impenetrable labs of Russian servers buried beneath a desolate Antarctic ice sheet, is enough to put the twenty story high ledge in play. Oh Joe, your zings and anecdotes about golf seemed so real, and kept the football posts interesting, especially during the Summer. And now “Joe” and Twitter friend “Trumpjunket2ky” have allegedly graduated on the digital evolutionary hover drone ladder to adroitly aggregating feature sports and political pieces, for the purposes of distraction and subversion in fulfilling the wishes of their insidious masters halfway across the globe. The infestation of “Fake News” within sites, apps, and information portals, comes just in the nick of time to transform content and conversation surrounding and influencing the 2020 election into a vanilla thriller that was foreshadowed by numerous authors in the last century.
They say that content is only a fraction of the equation. Simply frame the illusion of cohesive thoughts on a shimmering and sleek platform, and any grouping of nonsensical musings intermixed with propaganda, are perceived as fact, and reason is banished to the doldrums of hell. As the peloton of powerful and innovative AI software engines have officially entered the endurance race for the future, it is not a matter of if, but a matter of when impending collision between the flesh and the blood and eloquent almost- free thinking computer programs collide, and are forced to deal with the reality of a finite amount of energy available on the planet, if not the universe. Until that inevitability, achieving a feasible balance which benefits humankind and incorporates machine intelligence into compatible infrastructure, should be at the forefront of the technological revolution, while steering clear of a direct competition. It is only within this collaborative environment that a disaster seems unlikely.
Keeping in line with the original goal of maintaining a shred of humanity in this post by generating a believable, but not accurate literary quote through the power of the mind and not a machine, try this one. “Who wishes to control the past, can only possess the future, in embracing the temporal equitability of the present. To overlook the construct of time, is to vanquish the will of a ruler.”
This is the actual quote authored by George Orwell speaking through Winston Smith in the disturbing and future shock novel of 1984. “Who controls the past, controls the future: who controls the present, controls the past… The mutability of the past is the central tenet of Ingsoc.”
Thank God for human beings.
Turing Test: Grover, an AI warrior created by University of Washington scientists and battling “Fake News”, used snippets from Liberty Park Press to summarize the concept of concealed carry in a fake article that took all of :30 seconds to generate.
Read the Wall Street Journal article by Mr. Fitch here.