Synthetic Manipulated Media Pt III

Ripe receptors in manipulated media swarms, architected to move men to action. 

This is the third in a series of posts on the media turn from human generated media to media that is algorithmically generated.  Specifically addressing synthetic manipulated media.

Points discussed this far.

  • Is ‘synthetic media’ a proper description for this type of media
  • Round-up of existing papers and discussions taking place.
  • Posit that the immediate term potential to be disruptive, destructive?

Why this is important

Video has the power to be a form of control and life changing force. Media that has deception as a core capability takes on increased importance.

In this post I would like to take a look at adjunct technology and how it might fit with synthetic manipulated media. Following up with a post that addresses potential course corrections that might improve potential outcomes.   

This algorithmically generated media that can deceive the viewer impacts both encoding and decoding of images. Visual interpretation one of the most primary human functions. 

As the saying goes… if our life were a 24 hour clock,  humans learned to read at 11:59PM. We are visual beings.

This is not even wolf in sheep’s clothing territory,  this is a wolf dressed as a dragon. (one of the reasons we should name it correctly)

We see more colours of green because it helped protect us from being eaten as early humans. Our visual acuity is a mechanism for survival.  If these systems of visual trust are disrupted the implications will be significant.

Todays digital landscape

Concern is this: synthetic manipulated media comes at a time when several other capabilities and behaviors are all hitting critical mass and the alignment of all these in the wrong hands is dangerous.

Everyday we see low-grade high-impact propaganda or information warfare campaigns. Couple this with synthetic media and current digital swarm behavior – driven by a divided tribal society and individual psychological targeting.  This formula sets up a perfect storm for infection.

Some of these digital environmental and human conditions include:

  • Cultural tribalism
  • Psychographic targeting
  • Media literacy/human receptivity
  • Synthetic manipulated media
  • Social networks
  • Swam behaviors
  • ML/AI

The term  ‘Cat and mouse”  game is the phrase used to speak around the issues that both law and tools are playing catch up ball- true to form falling behind significant technology developments.  We do not have the time for the solve to play out as the immediate term impact will be foundational

Swarm behavior

Have spent good bit of ink on ‘swarm behavior’ in digital spaces.  This is the ingredient that both acts as an accelerator and potential incubator that pushes false information to mainstream media channels.   It happens fast and is places that are not immediately seen. Often by the time a swarm hits critical mass its to late –  everyone who participated in it becomes infected in some manner.

There are analogs to look to: the fairness doctrine in TV, or the fact that you can’t just slap a hundred dollar bill down on a copier as potential frameworks or laws that can moderate technology preventing disruptive becoming destructive.  That’s the line in the sand we all seem to ignore until technology eats part of us in its evolution.

As someone who loves design,  the above diagram is a visual horror show it should only serve to illustrate a potential threat scenario  vs wow with visual brilliance. Please someone re-design this – please