Facebook and WhatsApp groups have allowed for strong advocacy and even revolutionary action to take place.
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The strength of humans connecting was such a threat that the Syrian electronic army worked to hack WhatsApp.
The second key to adapting is education. People regularly surrender information about themselves that makes them vulnerable. Things like cell phone tracking and search histories are permitted through cookies and terms of service. We all regularly click these boxes without considering consequences. That, coupled with a lack of familiarity about news services and how social media algorithms determine what you see, leads to an information environment that is targeted at the user—but can be easily manipulated.
The group put forward ideas on how to develop media literacy, much the way financial literacy is taught in schools. This becomes more challenging in some countries in the Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans where media has no credibility and is considered an agent of the government. Social media used to be a haven, and now that too is corrupted. Even if you look for information outside of your country, the suspicion remains: Conversations like the one we had need to be the norm.
It helps us to consider the source, understand motivation—good or bad—and proactively seek out alternative views. The third key to adaptation is in strengthening networks. Simulated networks of bots are good at pushing information, but there is no substitute for the power of human interaction. Facebook and WhatsApp groups have allowed for strong advocacy and even revolutionary action to take place. The strength of humans connecting was such a threat that the Syrian electronic army worked to hack WhatsApp.
Connected journalists quickly and effectively countered Russian attempts to spread disinformation in advance of the French presidential election.
And evidence abounds that Russian actors attempt to penetrate Facebook groups because the power of distribution and trust created within these groups is so strong. Creating groups and limiting access to a small group of members can create an atmosphere of trust and can lead to more fact-based discussions of information and positive political change.
And of course, there is no substitute for face-to-face collaboration and the human voice. The power of one person tweeting in English from the Euromaidan allowed the world to better understand what was happening and see it through her eyes. This simple act created a network of global support and understanding.
It is no wonder that the German Marshall Fund of the United States and the Polish American Freedom Foundation teamed up with the remarkable staff at the College of Europe to host this important summer workshop. What was discussed and what will come of it are direct contributions to better equip citizens on both sides of the Atlantic in adapting to a digital age.
Moreover, participants leave the program with practical skills on protecting their own cyber identity to assist in their work. Opportunities like WEASA are force multipliers in helping citizens for adapting to a new digital world. What makes all this so urgent is the brutally Darwinian nature of technological evolution. Our machines may not be alive, but the evolutionary pressures surrounding them are every bit as intense as in nature, and with few of its constraints.
Vast quantities of money are at stake, with corporations and governments vying to build faster, more efficient and more effective systems; to keep consumer upgrade cycles ticking over. To be left behind — to refuse to automate or adopt — is to be out-competed. As the philosopher Daniel Dennett, among others, has pointed out , this logic of upgrade and adoption extends far beyond obvious fields such as finance, warfare and manufacturing.
Few fields of human endeavour are likely to remain untouched. Forget the hypothetical emergence of general purpose artificial intelligence, at least for a moment: Cutting people out of every loop to assure speed, profit, protection or military success is a poor model for a future Our creations are effective in part because they are unburdened by most of what makes humans human: We are biased, beautiful creatures.
Technology and intellect allow us to externalise our goals; but the ends pursued are those we chose. Do the incentives our tools tirelessly pursue on our behalf include human thriving, meaningful work, rich and humane interactions? Do we believe these things to be unachievable, unknowable or worthless? If not, when are we going to shift our focus? If we wish to build not only better machines, but better relationships with and through machines, we need to start talking far more richly about the qualities of these relationships; how precisely our thoughts and feelings and biases operate; and what it means to aim beyond efficiency at lives worth living.
What does a successful collaboration between humans and machines look like? What does a successful collaboration between humans mediated by technology look like? Ours is an amazing time to be alive: Our creations are certain to grow far beyond our current comprehension:
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Trello is the visual collaboration platform that gives teams perspective on projects. Use Trello to collaborate, communicate and coordinate on all of your projects. The Warsaw Euro-Atlantic Summer Academy convened again this year, this time to tackle the global challenges that accompany a growing digital world. Its purpose was to allow participants to share experiences and learn from experts in the area of social media, digital economy, misinformation, and cyber security.
Digital technologies challenge us once again to ask what place we occupy in the universe: what it means to be creatures of language, self-awareness and rationality. Our machines aren’t minds yet, but they are taking on more and more of the attributes we used to think of as uniquely human: reason, action, reaction, language, logic, adaptation, learning. Meeting men mattered to me and it meant something. It was the hookup app that I didn’t use that way. It simply allowed my world to collide with individuals who had interesting storiesa individuals who I probably wouldn’t have ever been introduced to if this digital dating world didn’t exist.