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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Artificial Intelligence and U.S. National Security: NSCAI policy recommendations report

756 pages in PDF, a hefty read. Unduly alarmist? Upper tier tech insiders "talking their own Book?"

 Just for contexual speculative grins, See WIRED's preview of "2034: A Novel of the Next World War."

Of particular interest to me is this Report section.

The basic purpose of the American government is to protect the security and liberty of the American people.

Americans have a long tradition of debating how best to achieve these twin goals when tensions arise between them.

The two decades following 9/11 saw intensive efforts to calibrate the government’s powers to stop another terrorist attack with its obligations to respect individual rights and liberties.
I have written on these issues at some length across the years.

tangentially apropos,
Before he came to meet me at South Kensington station, Nigel Oakes visited an exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum entitled “The Future Starts Here.” While strolling through the exhibit, Oakes suddenly found himself freezing in front of a display that startled him so much that his heart rate shot up and he had to rush outside for air.

The display, Can Democracy Survive the Internet? was dedicated to a “global elections management” company called Cambridge Analytica. Cambridge Analytica claimed to have gathered five thousand data points on every American voter online. What you liked and what you shared on social media; how and where you shopped; who your friends were—Cambridge Analytica claimed to be able to take this imprint of your online self and then use it to understand you better than even your closest relatives could and then use that information to change not just what you think but how you act. The boast seemed backed up by success. Cambridge Analytica had worked on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump; it also ran successful campaigns for the US senator Ted Cruz (twice), and all across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and Latin America.

Oakes was so overwrought by this display because here, finally, was proof that he had been right all along. Cambridge Analytica was a spin-off from a company he created, Strategic Communication Laboratories, and it drew on his philosophy. All his adult life he had tried to prove that he had discovered what he proudly called the ultimate weapon of persuasion. At first, he had been laughed at, then criticized. But now his ideas were being presented as the future that “starts here,” imitated by all…

Pomerantsev, Peter. This Is Not Propaganda (pp. 179-180). PublicAffairs. Kindle Edition.

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