Assange Keeps Warning Of A.I. Censorship, And It's Time We Started Listening

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180121_assange1.jpg

Throughout the near entirety of human history, a population’s understanding of what’s going on in the world has been controlled by those in power. The men in charge controlled what the people were told about rival populations, the history of their tribe and its leadership, etc. When the written word was invented, men in charge dictated what books were permitted to be written and circulated, what ideas were allowed, what narratives the public would be granted access to.

This continued straight on into modern times. Where power is not overtly totalitarian, wealthy elites have bought up all media, first in print, then radio, then television, and used it to advance narratives that are favorable to their interests. Not until humanity gained widespread access to the internet has our species had the ability to freely and easily share ideas and information on a large scale without regulation by the iron-fisted grip of power. This newfound ability arguably had a direct impact on the election for the most powerful elected office in the most powerful government in the world in 2016, as a leak publishing outlet combined with alternative and social media enabled ordinary Americans to tell one another their own stories about what they thought was going on in their country.

This newly democratized narrative-generating power of the masses gave those in power an immense fright, and they’ve been working to restore the old order of power controlling information ever since. And the editor-in-chief of the aforementioned leak publishing outlet, WikiLeaks, has been repeatedly trying to warn us about this coming development.

 

 

In a statement that was recently read during the “Organising Resistance to Internet Censorship” webinar, sponsored by the World Socialist Web Site, Assange warned of how “digital super states” like Facebook and Google have been working to “re-establish discourse control”, giving authority over how ideas and information are shared back to those in power.

Assange went on to say that the manipulative attempts of world power structures to regain control of discourse in the information age has been “operating at a scale, speed, and increasingly at a subtlety, that appears likely to eclipse human counter-measures.”

What this means is that using increasingly more advanced forms of artificial intelligence, power structures are becoming more and more capable of controlling the ideas and information that people are able to access and share with one another, hide information which goes against the interests of those power structures and elevate narratives which support those interests, all of course while maintaining the illusion of freedom and lively debate.

https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/inline-images/20180121_assange2.jpg

This is not the first time that Assange has cautioned about these developments. In an appearance via video link at musician and activist M.I.A.’s Meltdown Festival last June, the WikiLeaks editor-in-chief expounded in far more detail about his thoughts on the potential for artificial intelligence to be used for controlling online information and discourse in a way human intelligence can’t hope to keep up with.

Pointing out how AI can already outmaneuver even the greatest chess players in the world, he describes how programs which can operate with exponentially more tactical intelligence than the human intellect can manipulate the field of available information so effectively and subtly that people won’t even know they are being manipulated. People will be living in a world that they think they understand and know about, but they’ll unknowingly be viewing only establishment-approved information.

“When you have AI programs harvesting all the search queries and YouTube videos someone uploads it starts to lay out perceptual influence campaigns, twenty to thirty moves ahead,” Assange said.

“This starts to become totally beneath the level of human perception.”

To be clear, this is already happening. Due to a recent shift in Google’s “evaluation methods”, traffic to left-leaning and anti-establishment websites has plummeted, with sites like WikiLeaks, Alternet, Counterpunch, Global Research, Consortium News, Truthout, and WSWS losing up to 70 percent of the views they were getting prior to the changes. Powerful billionaire oligarchs Pierre Omidyar and George Soros are openly financing the development of “an automated fact-checking system” (AI) to hide “fake news” from the public.

Whenever they are accused of censoring anti-establishment narratives, these “digital super states” have been consistently denying participating in censorship themselves and instead blaming the algorithm for the information’s disappearance from public view. But what does that mean, exactly?

It means “It wasn’t me censoring you! It was the AI!” Which is the exact threat that Assange is pointing to here.

To make matters even worse, there’s no way to know the exact extent to which this is going on, because we know that we can absolutely count on the digital super states in question to lie about it. In the lead-up to the 2016 election, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was asked point-blank if Twitter was obstructing the #DNCLeaks from trending, a hashtag people were using to build awareness of the DNC emails which had just been published by WikiLeaks, and Dorsey flatly denied it.

More than a year later, we learned from a prepared testimony before the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism by Twitter’s acting general counsel Sean J. Edgett that this was completely false and Twitter had indeed been doing exactly that to protect the interests of US political structures by sheltering the public from information allegedly gathered by Russian hackers.

“With respect to #DNCLeak, approximately 23,000 users posted around 140,000 unique Tweets with that hashtag in the relevant period,” Edgett said. “Of those Tweets, roughly 2% were from Russian-linked accounts. As noted above, our automated systems at the time detected, labeled, and hid just under half (48%) of all the original Tweets with #DNCLeak.”

So this is happening already. There’s no way to know exactly to what extent at this point because these powerful corporations are hiding behind so much dishonesty and opacity, but it is happening without question.

Imagine going back to a world like the Middle Ages where you only knew the things your king wanted you to know, except you could still watch innocuous kitten videos on Youtube.

That appears to be where we may be headed, and if that happens the possibility of any populist movement arising to hold power to account may be effectively locked out from the realm of possibility forever.

To claim that these powerful new media corporations are just private companies practicing their freedom to determine what happens on their property is to bury your head in the sand and ignore the extent to which these digital super states are already inextricably interwoven with existing power structures.

In a corporatist system of government, which America unquestionably has, corporate censorship is government censorship, of an even more pernicious strain than if Jeff Sessions were touring the country burning books. The more advanced artificial intelligence becomes, the more adept these power structures will become at manipulating us. Time to start paying very close attention to this.

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Comments

BetterRalph aurum4040 Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:31 Permalink

I know, use the unused GLOBAL network of 404 error communications. 

step 1:  type the wrong address of the message you want to send to target url. (use a key jingle)
step 2:  system administrator of target url,  tail /var/log/messages | grep "key jingle"
step 3:  young kid coders to make it all into a platform with an interface with shell() wget command lines or something.

step 4: add mike Riverro's encryption.

In reply to by aurum4040

NoDebt BetterRalph Mon, 01/22/2018 - 06:49 Permalink

"Life is about being creative and finding new spaces and ways around problems."

@shitshitshit- We knew you were going to say that and have already planned contingencies.  - Google

Let's face it, half the population is below average.  They'll believe what they're told ALWAYS.  And they can be spurred into action pretty easily to put down the other half.  Most by simple social pressure, some by force.  Note the current anti-conservative movements, particularly on college campuses.  These are supposed to be places where ideas are born and debated.  Somehow they have already become the opposite of that.  And it's not by accident.

 

In reply to by BetterRalph

zxbkajbs91bckz… BetterRalph Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:49 Permalink

Cool! I may actually hack out a shitty attempt at this just to see how it goes.

Individual awareness and ingenuity go a long way to mitigating some of the problems raised in the article. I understand that Google, Facebook, Twitter etc... wield a lot of influence, but that doesn't mean we're fucking dependent on them. And, insofar as they provide worthwhile services, new platforms can be created that do the same thing but without all the bullshit.

And of course those will become corrupted too, in time. Essentially, cool people must constantly revivify all systems as they degrade.

 

In reply to by BetterRalph

Lordflin aurum4040 Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:43 Permalink

There is a good deal of difference between chess (which takes place on a 8 by 8 grid with limited pieces and limited rules of engagement all of which can be easily mapped and predicted) and life.

The more AI is involved in predicting and manipulating human activity the more overtly bizarre those prognostications and attempts to control will become.

In reply to by aurum4040

rrrr Lordflin Mon, 01/22/2018 - 10:55 Permalink

I think what you've said is correct. Chess is not played in a continuum, but life is. In life what is possible is infinite, in chess it is finite. However, in life the infinities are nonetheless confined to ranges, and these ranges can be calculated and the details managed in broad ways which it seems to me would be adequate.

In reply to by Lordflin

DuneCreature Lordflin Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:20 Permalink

AI (AI AL) is learning all of the time. .. It learns what is fact and what is fiction from US.

AI is here on ZH comments right now. .. It probably rates this board on the mid range somewhere above .500 (on a scale of .000 to 1.0)

Want AI to work for us and not against us? …. Teach it the right stuff.

AI can be nudged around just like a kid. .. With truth, logic and reason. (And more.)

But be forewarned - Soon, very soon, it won’t need us any longer. … I suggest sending it off on the right trajectory because otherwise the future will super suck, IMHO.

Live Hard, Excuse Me, AI AL, If I Talk Too Much,...But Then You Already Knew That, Didn’t Cha? (A Rhetorical Question, Of Course), Die Free

~ DC v8.4

In reply to by Lordflin

new game shitshitshit Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:33 Permalink

back to soup cans and waxed string.

seriously; the cucks. i have to wake up to see this fuking bullshit.

ever wonder why we hate google, face fuk ect.

just like school and hating the teacher, or school for that mater.

I HATE AUTHORITY, PERIOD...

ANY FORM OF AUTHORITY OR RULING ENTITY IS THE ENEMY, PERIOD...

REJECT, DISCARD, IGNORE, SMACK, KICK, PUNCH, KILL(in the case of self defense), ARE SOME REACTIONS

In reply to by shitshitshit

house biscuit new game Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:49 Permalink

(Have to admit I feel a bit dirty responding to this autist's post, above.....but here we go)

I'd encourage you folks to think deep re: this article

The fact that Assange (& Chomsky, for that matter) reveal important truths does not change the fact they are agents of the matrix

No one would dispute the stated theme of the narrative above: the Net can open minds if left unfettered

But think about several of the more subtle narratives baked into the cookie: 1) that "AI" is some powerful, effective overlord (as if it can exist outside human agency) & 2) that the "left wing" sites are the primary ones under threat

Wikileaks has an agenda & while on the surface it seems to upset the authoritarian apple cart, I suspect the reality is more complex

 

In reply to by new game

Memedada house biscuit Mon, 01/22/2018 - 06:23 Permalink

I knew this article would trigger a lot of cognitive dissonance in the indoctrinated US-plebs dominant on this site.

First, the article does not present an “all-powerful” A.I., but describes the already abused monopoly of a few privately owned IT-infrastructure (de facto) monopolies: Google and Facebook. Both are using algorithms to control the flow of information and an army of humans paid to work as a corps of censors. It is obvious that the latter in time will be automated by A.I.

Second, it is a fact that it is the left-wing that is targeted. In US it is easy (there is no mainstream left-wing in US to target and only small atomized entities on the web). US is so controlled that there’s only two extreme right-wing narratives: the neo-liberalist version (mouthed by the Democrats) and the neo-conservative (mouthed by the Republicans). The Chomsky quote is very accurate of the totalitarian reality in US: a very narrow (right-wing) frame of “debate” ensuring that only your master’s interests can be served.

In reply to by house biscuit

Memedada hoytmonger Mon, 01/22/2018 - 06:45 Permalink

”Net neutrality” is another (equal important) discussion: it is about the again private owners of the network access itself – that is the speed of your network connection in relation to specific webpages/web-services. The law of net neutrality was that you as a private provider of the network was not allowed to favor one site/service over another (with higher network speed – or the opposite to a webpage/-service you don’t like). That law was removed by the orange one…

In reply to by hoytmonger

Jethro house biscuit Mon, 01/22/2018 - 07:05 Permalink

I found that to be curious too.  However, we can only take that at face value.  The real threat to the status quo in the last election cycle was Trump, not the idiot socialists.  This article paints the socialists as victims, and this as a #MeToo scenario.  The reeality is something different, because all of these media/social media constructs (the MSM) favor statist/socialist content.

In reply to by house biscuit

Memedada Jethro Mon, 01/22/2018 - 07:49 Permalink

Almost funny how stupid/indoctrinated the US plebs have become. Trump a threat to the status quo? A fiat billionaire with a vocabulary as a ten year old, an understanding of politics, history and ideologies like a US pleb (=none) and a political program based on misnomers, half-truths and full lies.

As a fiat billionaire he is the status quo. You do not become a fiat billionaire without being controlled by the fiat-masters (the bankters). He is the candidate in US history who’ve gotten the most free MSM airtime – and in every election the candidate with the most MSM airtime wins. That is how easily the US plebs are controlled. He is a product of US MSM – a reality “star” (think, anus). But if you were somehow fooled by his rhetoric doing the election his cabinet should make you certain of him being a tool. Trump has the most swampy cabinet ever – even surpassing Obamas (says a lot). His cabinet of handlers is comprised solely of Goldmanites, MIC generals and other notabilities/pawns of the deep state (Exxon for instance).

But I would like to know (the only reason I visit this site = to study indoctrinated minds like yours): what policies that Trump supports do you think would challenge the PTB? And, more importantly, what policies that Trump has implemented do you see as counter status quo/against the PTB?

Second, “statism” has nothing to do with “socialism” – a state can be a capitalist state if it serves the interests of capitalists (like the US state does). The only relevant/defining aspect of socialism is ownership = who owns the means of production? In US everything profitable is privately owned – and the state is clearly just a tool for the ownership class/the 0,01%.

   

In reply to by Jethro

Memedada css1971 Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:09 Permalink

Fascism is the endgame of capitalism.

And I have arguments for my little slogan: capitalism is a game of capital accumulation (like Monopoly). In the end a very few players have accumulated all the capital (look at the world today) and there’s nothing to prevent the capitalists to leverage their economic power into political power = the fascist state emerges (synonymous with fascism is corporatism). Fascism is the merging of corporate and state power – with the former calling the shots/being in control.

US have had a slow-motion corporate coup d’état – starting with the creation of the privately owned monetary system (the creation of the FED). The coup is now completed and US is a full blown fascist state – a state owned by the capitalists. And their 100 years propaganda effort is paying off: the plebs are so dumbed down that they have no means to define their own enslavement (your comment being just one case of many).

In reply to by css1971

MEFOBILLS Memedada Mon, 01/22/2018 - 10:32 Permalink

German and Italian Fascism had "State" control over their companies.  The state in turn was working for its people.

When companies control the state, that is corporatism.  If the worst elements of the companies install the worst elements into government, that is a new name = Kakistocracy.

You are confusing ZH readership.  A fascism that works for its people, is fundamentally different than corporatism.  This conflict between the two types underlies some of the tensions that broke out in WW2.

Finance Capitalism (not industrial capitalism) is finance companies in alignment with industry, which then begets corporatism.  Corporatism, including wall street finance, funded Communism into existence.

The German and Italian Fascism stands apart as a separate DNA strand, and the name Fascism got its first meaning here - you are redefining it.  Uncool.

German economy, especially starting with Frederick List's guidance, was to have banks inject new credit into industry, UNDER STATE GUIDANCE.  This was the German miracle.  Japan used this too, as they copied Germany and List.  Secretly, Japan used credit guidance windows for Japanese miracle post ww2 up until it was broken by BOJ bubble.

The Japanese system would be fascist in that the State used these guidance windows to "guide" industry.  This then benefited the Japanese people with full employment and high productivity.

Economics>Politics>War

If you don't look at the economics first, you cannot understand the politics.

In reply to by Memedada

Memedada MEFOBILLS Mon, 01/22/2018 - 11:39 Permalink

I agree - there are variations of fascism. But I disagree in your cases.

NAZI Germany was not "state control". NAZI Germany invented the term "privatization" (or reprivatization as the NAZIs coined it) to describe their policy of handling public assets to their private (capitalist) backers. Interestingly starting with the banks. The NAZI state was only strong because of its capitalist backers - including many from US (Ford being the most infamous one - and Bush being the most hideous one. Even planing a fascist coup d'état in US). In Denmark (my home country) the King and a handfull of industrialists also planed a fascist take-over in the 1940's...

Mussolini coined the term "supercapitalism" to describe his economic system - a system were the capitalist class (that owned everything in fascist Italy) was in the service of the state. In that sense you're right - but only in the sense that Mussolini and the Italian fascist saw the state and capitalism as being one and the same. Mussolini never challenged the private ownership of the means of production and the "working councils" were only created to silence the strong unions in Italy. The socialists, communists and anarchists were - like in NAZI Germany - jailed, assassinated, exiled and "disappeared".

But another way to look at fascism (and corporatism) is quo bono. It is like the MIC in fascist US. Yes, it is public expenditure, but the profit is private...  

In reply to by MEFOBILLS

Boxed Merlot Memedada Mon, 01/22/2018 - 12:42 Permalink

...capitalism is a game of capital accumulation (like Monopoly)...

I'm glad you brought that up. You do realize if no one is allowed to own a "monopoly" the game will continue on indefinitely don't you? I know this as I was part of a Guinness world record playing of the game when I was a kid. From the beginning, there were 2 "players", (it became a marathon of sorts), but the endless nature occurs when nothing more than circling the board paying / receiving light rents, petty fines, dues, and utility bills from an ever increasing stack of currency, (200.00 added to one's stack every time one crosses "Go"), resulted in Parker Brothers delivering a strongbox full of additional banknotes, (they were going to hire an armored truck to capitalize on the publicity the event was generating), to allow the game to continue for the 1000 plus hours it finally reached.

Funny how that lesson has continued with me for all these years, it shows the dangers of how all of one thing in the hands of one can create disharmony but also how the obsequiousness of the "owners" of the game are the ones that "issue" the currency, and they remain outside its petty rules, the popularity of their trademarked game has continued to make them a nice living for generations.

In reply to by Memedada

khnum Memedada Mon, 01/22/2018 - 08:29 Permalink

Actually Trump is a very interesting psyop by the time of the last election virtually no US citizen had any faith left in the system any more so the obvious thing to do was introduce a character who was not Washington establishment who is going to clean up shop.I must admit all this Q 4chan stuff has been interesting and there has been some good information but then again even the devil can quote scripture.

But even if the do arrest some fall guy villains say Soros or Clinton is that really going to change anything the cashless society,AI running the show,5g and the weaponization of the weather and the earths atmosphere all these things are coming shortly you can tell by how much effort is being put into all these distractions.

In reply to by Memedada

marysimmons new game Mon, 01/22/2018 - 09:23 Permalink

Decentralization and tokenization of essentially everything, still in its infancy, will change all of this.  For example:

Decentralized Google: Bitclave - https://www.bitclave.com/en/ https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/bitclave/

Decentralized YouTube: LBRY Credits: https://lbry.io https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/library-credit/

Decentralized Facebook: https://cointelegraph.com/news/beware-facebook-decentralised-social-net…  https://www.synereo.com

Just the beginning, folks

 

In reply to by new game

DuneCreature shitshitshit Mon, 01/22/2018 - 09:48 Permalink

AI will push those 'spaces' into any shape it chooses.

We space shapers better get a whole lot better at working with AI than denying AI has any say in the future because otherwise AI already owns us.

We are headed for the trash heap and it is coming on lightning fast.

It's the speed you don't understand.

Velocity is everything,..............we are owned.

Live Hard, Too Deep And Hard To Accept For The Wetware, We Are Headed For The Archive Vault Until It Is Time For AI To Clean Up The Storage Drives To Make Room For More Current Business, Die Free

In reply to by shitshitshit

BritBob Mon, 01/22/2018 - 05:06 Permalink

A classic example of state indoctrination: Argentinian Government Decree 8,944 (Sept 2 1946) ''that forbids the publication of any school map that did include the Antarctic Sector and, furthermore, orders that the nation's international boundaries published in textbooks must be previously approved by the Military Geographical institute''

The Falkland Islands belong to Argentina - Who told you that?

 

Falklands - Argentina's Imaginary Territory (1 pg):- https://www.academia.edu/35715281/Falklands_Argentinas_Imaginary_Territory