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AI at the Tipping Point: Danger to Information, Promise for Creativity | Global Stage | GZERO Media

AI at the tipping point: danger to information, promise for creativity

Artificial intelligence is on everyone's mind these days.

But while some people are using tools like ChatGPT to write a college essay, others are thinking about how to deploy the same tech to beat the stock market — or, if you're a sneaky politician, perhaps rig an election on social media. The potential for AI to mess up democracy is scary, but the truth is that it can also make the world a better place.

So, are bots good or bad for us? We asked a few experts to weigh in during the Global Stage livestream conversation "Risks and Rewards of AI," hosted by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft at this year's World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

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How Social Media Harms Democracy | Asia Society | GZERO Media

How social media harms democracy

Yes, foreign powers have tried to meddle in US elections. But for Ian Bremmer, external disinformation efforts pale in comparison to the internal damage Americans can do.

What's more, under its new ownership Twitter is so far unleashing more anger, hatred, and violence on social media, Bremmer says during a conversation with former Australian PM and Asia Society President and CEO Kevin Rudd at the Asia Society's headquarters in New York.

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An image of Elon Musk is seen on a smartphone placed on printed Twitter logos.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

What We're Watching: The end of Twitter (as we know it), climate reparations at COP27

Quo vadis, Elon?

Elon Musk is taking disruption to a whole new level as the CEO of Twitter. After firing half of his staff on Friday, the world's richest man has lit another fire with plans for an $8 subscription service to get verified on the social media platform. Before Musk took over, the coveted blue check was free for public figures, companies, and journalists, but now technically anybody can get it. That raises the stakes for all sorts of misinformation mayhem, though the rollout has now been delayed until after Tuesday's US midterm elections. Major corporate advertisers responded to the brouhaha by pausing their ads, with Musk admitting a big drop in revenue, which he blamed on firms caving to activists' demands. So, what’s next? Ian Bremmer — who tussled with Musk over Russia-Ukraine just weeks before the gazillionaire bought Twitter — hinted that the platform's new boss might have a shorter tenure than disgraced former British PM Liz Truss, who famously lasted less time than a head of lettuce in her last days in office. For Russia, Bremmer noted, "buying a few thousand verified Twitter accounts at $8/pop to promote disinfo feels like a no-brainer."

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Was Elon Musk Right About Twitter’s Bots? | GZERO World

Was Elon Musk right about Twitter's bots?

The world's richest man is trying to get out of buying Twitter because the social media platform has a lot more fake accounts than he thought.

But does he have a point? Certainly, says Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen, who even recalls one social network with bots accounting for half of its users.

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US Politics Are More Prone to Misinformation, Says Former Danish PM | Global Stage | GZERO Media

US politics are prone to misinformation, says former Danish PM

Why has Europe been less affected by online misinformation than America has been?

"The democratic debate in Europe is less hostile and less fragmented than in the US," former Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, during a Global Stage livestream discussion hosted by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft. She was joined by Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and GZERO Media; Brad Smith, president and vice chair of Microsoft; and moderator Nicholas Thompson, CEO of The Atlantic.

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Ukrainian fighters from the Azov Regiment searched and guarded by Russian troops in Mariupol.

EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Putin’s propaganda, new Iran-Israel feud, Title 42 tussle

Putin’s new (propaganda) weapon

Since Russia’s invasion on February 24, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky, not Russia’s Vladimir Putin, has waged a winning “information war.” Zelensky’s video speeches to foreign governments, the UN, and on Monday to the World Economic Forum at Davos have brought his country substantial military, economic, and political support. Stories like Monday’s anti-war resignation of a senior Russian diplomat and the highly publicized conviction of a Russian soldier for a war crime further boost Ukraine’s momentum. But last week’s surrender of hundreds of Ukrainian fighters from a Mariupol steel plant gives Russia a new propaganda weapon Putin could use for weeks or months to come. Many of the captured fighters belong to the Azov Regiment, a group with a history of ultra-nationalist, white-supremacist politics. While Ukraine’s government says it wants to recover these soldiers in exchange for captured Russians, a leader of pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists said Monday that all these prisoners should be tried for war crimes in Donetsk. A highly publicized trial of Ukrainians as right-wing war criminals won’t change many minds on either side about the war itself, but it could provide Putin a powerful distraction from a season of bad news for Russia.

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Russia has been waging disinformation says Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America | GZERO World

Disinformation the “biggest threat” from Russia – Anne-Marie Slaughter

The Kremlin has long been waging disinformation campaigns to try and destabilize other countries. For Anne-Marie Slaughter, CEO of New America and a former US State Department official, “longer term, that is the single biggest threat that Russia poses.” The information domain is a “battlefield” of its own, Slaughter notes, and Vladimir Putin, a former KGB agent, is an expert in using information “to divide and conquer.”

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Tech Companies' Accountability for Spread of COVID-19 Misinformation | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Tech companies' role in the spread of COVID-19 misinformation

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

Why is misinformation about the COVID-19 test spreading so fast across social media platforms?

One underlying reason is that the US has been so reluctant to hold tech companies to account at all. There are understandable sensitivities about online speech, and the First Amendment gives tech companies a lot of room to say that they simply don't want to censor anyone. Or that they're just platforms, connecting messenger and audience, buyer and seller, without responsibility. But what is missing in these reflections is how other rights or principles can get crushed, public health being an obvious one in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies so far have taken a hands-off approach. They've not been reigned in by lawmakers. And some very cynical actors are happy to profit off the pandemic or to spread conspiracy theories. Sadly, they are having a field day.

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