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  • The title was changed to Bots are flooding social media with pro-US propaganda demonizing Iran, Russ
  • The title was changed to Bots flooding social media with pro-US propaganda demonizing Iran & Russia
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Posted (edited)

Anti-Iranian, Anti-Russian, Anti-Chinese Bots Caught Flooding Social Media with Pro-Israeli, Pro-Western, Pro-American, Pro-NATO, Pro-Ukrainian Propaganda 

https://mronline.org/2022/09/24/bots-are-flooding-social-media-with-pro-us-propaganda-demonizing-china-russia-iran-studies-show/

 

| Bots are flooding social media with pro US propaganda demonizing China Russia Iran studies show | MR OnlineBots are flooding social media with pro-US propaganda demonizing China, Russia & Iran, studies show

Bots are flooding social media with pro-US propaganda demonizing China, Russia & Iran, studies show

By Ben Norton (Posted Sep 24, 2022)

Originally published: Multipolarista  on September 20, 2022 (more by Multipolarista)

(Se puede leer este informe en español aquí.)


Two studies published this August expose how large numbers of fake accounts are spreading pro-Western and pro-NATO propaganda on social media, while demonizing US geopolitical adversaries like China, Russia, and Iran.

An investigation by scholars in Australia found that more than 90% of bots posting on Twitter about the proxy war in Ukraine were promoting pro-Ukraine propaganda, whereas just 7% were promoting pro-Russia propaganda.

A separate report co-authored by researchers at California’s Stanford University and a notorious US government contractor called Graphika revealed a large propaganda network on social media “that used deceptive tactics to promote pro-Western narratives in the Middle East and Central Asia.”

The study detailed a “series of covert campaigns” on social media, which spread disinformation and fake news in a way that “consistently advanced narratives promoting the interests of the United States and its allies while opposing countries including Russia, China, and Iran.”

These two investigations are part of a growing body of evidence showing how Western governments and their allies have weaponized social media platforms and turned them into weapons in a new cold war.

90% of bots posting about Ukraine proxy spread anti-Russian propaganda

A scientific study published by researchers from Australia’s University of Adelaide found that, of the bots on Twitter posting about the proxy war in Ukraine, 90.16% spread pro-Ukraine propaganda, while only 6.8% spread pro-Russia propaganda. (3.04% of the bots showed what they called “mixed behaviour,” publishing both pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian messages.)

The scholars, from the university’s School of Mathematical Sciences, cannot in any way be considered pro-Russian. In fact, two of the co-authors disclosed that their work is funded by the Australian government through the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Projects.

But the academics set out to investigate how “Both sides in the Ukrainian conflict use the online information environment to influence geopolitical dynamics and sway public opinion,” and they let the facts speak for themselves.

The researchers analyzed more than 5.2 million tweets, retweets, quote tweets, and replies between February 23 and March 8 that used the hashtags #(I)StandWithUkraine, #(I)StandWithRussia, #(I)StandWithZelenskyy, #(I)StandWithPutin, #(I)SupportUkraine, or #(I)SupportRussia. (The scholars used both the versions #StandWithUkraine and #IStandWithUkraine, with and without the “I.”)

Ukraine Russia bots graph

They found that the vast majority of bots tweeted pro-Ukraine propaganda, specifically the hashtag #StandWithUkraine.

Their study noted that the proxy war in Ukraine “emphasises the role social media plays in modern-day warfare, with conflict occurring in both the physical and information environments.”

“Social media is a critical tool in information warfare,” the academics wrote.

They cited another investigation that found that 19% of overall interactions on Twitter are directed from bots to real accounts, the vast majority in the form of retweets (74%) and mentions (25%).

Pro-Western propaganda network on social media exposed

A separate study also published in August offered further insight into how social media is weaponized to spread pro-Western propaganda.

Titled “Unheard Voice: Evaluating five years of pro-Western covert influence operations,” the report was co-authored by the Stanford Internet Observatory and an infamous intelligence company called Graphika.

Graphika is notorious for working closely with the US government, contracting with the Pentagon, DARPA, and the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Given its links to US intelligence agencies, Graphika’s role in this study could be seen as an example of a “limited hangout” – it provides a small glimpse into US information warfare activities, while covering up the vast majority of its operations.

Although it is very limited in scope and has clear biases, the document does show how pro-Western propaganda networks on social media accuse China, Russia, and Iran of being “imperialist” while praising the US government.

The pro-Western disinformation operations primarily used Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp (which are owned by Meta), as well as YouTube, Twitter, and Telegram.

Some of the fake accounts involved in the coordinated propaganda campaign posed as “independent news outlets,” “political analysts,” or “teachers.”

The Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika succiently described the operation as “Fake News, Fake Faces, Fake Followers.”

They wrote in the executive summary of their report (emphasis added):

Our joint investigation found an interconnected web of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and five other social media platforms that used deceptive tactics to promote pro-Western narratives in the Middle East and Central Asia. The platforms’ datasets appear to cover a series of covert campaigns over a period of almost five years rather than one homogeneous operation.

These campaigns consistently advanced narratives promoting the interests of the United States and its allies while opposing countries including Russia, China, and Iran. The accounts heavily criticized Russia in particular for the deaths of innocent civilians and other atrocities its soldiers committed in pursuit of the Kremlin’s “imperial ambitions” following its invasion of Ukraine in February this year. To promote this and other narratives, the accounts sometimes shared news articles from U.S. government-funded media outlets, such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, and links to websites sponsored by the U.S. military.

The document explained that the propaganda accounts “created fake personas with GAN-generated faces, posed as independent media outlets, leveraged memes and short-form videos, attempted to start hashtag campaigns, and launched online petitions.”

The Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika described their investigation as “the most extensive case of covert pro-Western IO [influence operations] on social media to be reviewed and analyzed by open-source researchers to date.”

The firms acknowledged that, “With few exceptions, the study of modern IO has overwhelmingly focused on activity linked to” Western adversaries “in countries such as Russia, China, and Iran.”

Some of the language used in the report reflects the blatant bias of the firms, which referred to China, Russia, and Iran disparagingly as “authoritarian regimes.”

Despite the many limitations of the study, however, the fact that it was co-published by an elite university and a notorious intelligence-linked US government contractor makes it impossible to deny that Western government are using social media platforms to spread disinformation and wage information warfare against their geopolitical adversaries.

Central Asia propaganda accuses China and Russia of ‘imperialism’ while praising the US

The Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika investigation analyzed the pro-Western disinformation campaign by dividing its work into three regions: Central Asia (primarily in the Russian language), Iran (in Persian), and the Middle East (in Arabic).

Although these pro-Western propaganda operations were conducted in different languages, many of their talking points and tactics overlapped.

The Central Asia-themed disinformation was mostly in Russian, although some accounts posted in regional languages like Kazakh and Kyrgyz.

In addition to using Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and Telegram, the Central Asia propaganda also employed the Russian social media apps VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki.

social media propaganda US Tajikistan

The report found that the disinformation operation involved creating a “sham media outlet” focused on Central Asia called Intergazeta. It “repeatedly copied news material with and without credit from reputable Western and pro-Western sources in Russian, such as Meduza.io and the BBC Russian Service.”

Other accounts in the propaganda network “copied or translated content from U.S.-funded entities, such as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, and the independent Kazakh news outlet informburo.kz.”

They also created petitions using the US-based website Avaaz. One demanded that Kazakhstan should leave the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance with Russia.

Another petition called on Kyrgyzstan to minimize Chinese influence. And two more insisted that Kazakhstan should ban Russian TV channels.

social media propaganda petitions Kazah ban Russian TV

The Central Asia disinformation network accused Russia and China of “imperialism,” while constantly spreading pro-US propaganda.

The fake accounts demonized Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, its military intervention in Syria, and its security partnership with several African nations.

The Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika report noted that the disinformation operation also “concentrated on China and the treatment of Chinese Muslim minorities, particularly the Uighurs in Xinjiang province.”

The fake accounts accused China of “genocide” against its Uyghur minority, and spread fake news stories alleging that Beijing harvest the organs of Muslims.

social media propaganda China Uyghurs organs

Persian-language anti-Iran propaganda network

The report identified another network of propaganda focused on Afghanistan. These fake accounts attacked Iran and accused it of having too much influence in the neighboring country. To do so, they posted disinformation from websites supported by the US military.

This propaganda included outlandish fake news, alleging for instance that Iran is trafficking the organs of Afghan refugees, or claiming that Tehran is supposedly forcing Afghan refugees to fight in militias in Syria and Yemen.

social media propaganda Iran Afghan refugees organs

Like the Central Asia-focused disinformation operation, this anti-Iran network included “accounts claiming to be independent media outlets, [which] shared U.S.-funded Persian-language media,” from US state propaganda outlets like Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s Radio Farda and VOA Farsi.

The fake accounts also shared “content from sources linked to the U.S. military,” such as websites sponsored by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM).

And they reposted material from Iran International, an anti-Iranian propaganda outlet based in Britain and funded by the Saudi monarchy.

The Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika wrote that this propaganda campaign was “critical of the Iranian government and often used a sarcastic tone to mock Iranian state media and other parts of the state apparatus.”

Some of the fake accounts engaged with actual Iranians on Twitter, trying to get real people involved in the operation.

They emphasized attacks on Tehran’s foreign policy. The report noted, “Anti-government accounts criticized Iran’s domestic and international policies and highlighted how the government’s costly international interventions undermined its ability to care for its citizens.”

The fake accounts excoriated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), demonized resistance groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas, and condemned Iran for its political alliance with Russia.

social media propaganda anti Iran IRGC cartoon

Arabic-language Middle East propaganda network

Another disinformation network identified in the Stanford Internet Observatory and Graphika report focused on spreading Arabic-language propaganda related to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

These fake accounts claimed Iran had too much influence in the region. They demonized Yemen’s revolutionary group Ansarallah (also known as the Houthi movement), and attacked Russia’s foreign policy.

The report noted that some “accounts on Twitter posed as Iraqi activists in order to accuse Iran of threatening Iraq’s water security and flooding the country with crystal meth.”

“Other assets highlighted Houthi-planted landmines killing civilians and promoted allegations that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would lead to a global food crisis,” it added.

social media propaganda Iran Iraq disease

Some of the accounts falsely posed as Iraqis, and compared Iran to a “disease” destroying Iraq.

At the same time, they demonized Iraqi Shia militias and portrayed them as puppets of Tehran.

The propaganda campaign accused Iran of an “imperialist project in the Middle East.”

The report noted that this disinformation operation also “amplified the narrative that Russian President Vladimir Putin planned to induce a global food crisis that would hit less economically developed countries the hardest.”

At the same time, the fake accounts praised the United States, and particularly its soft-power arm USAID.

Part of the disinformation network even spread propaganda heroizing the US soldiers who are illegally occupying Syrian territory.
social media propaganda US soldiers Syria

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Eddie Mecca said:

Anti-Iranian, Anti-Russian, Anti-Chinese Bots Caught Flooding Social Media with Pro-Israeli, Pro-Western, Pro-American, Pro-NATO, Pro-Ukrainian Propaganda 

A little long on the copy and paste brother , but I still thank you , since hopefully it will open the eyes of our blinded brothers and sisters.

Strong work :pushup2:

Edited by Hasani Samnani
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Bots were a problem on YouTube, Instagram, & Twitter - even before the political turmoil of the last 6 months.

You can hardly browse or comment anywhere without being spammed by crypto bots or scammers. Now the regime change gang is onboard too.

Kind of why I deleted my Facebook, Instagram and Google accounts and use NewPipe to follow YouTube creators (as you don't need an account & you can download only audio).

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Posted (edited)

Are these not the signs of fear of NATO and US who were once a alone leader / master / king in the world before the things and matter that have started to change in the globe ?

The Covid 19, Israel attack in Iran on nuclear scientist, etc. Iraq riots, Iran disruptions, before the success of opposition forming in Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting Uzbekistan’s Samarkand recently, Does these not seems to be a link of the story?

Edited by Muslim2010
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Posted (edited)

Most of the things you read on social media are produced by bots. People need to realize this. There have been many documentaries about this. For those who don't know, this is how social media works. It is about $$$. Not about truth, not about 'bringing people together', 'creating a better world', etc. These are just tag lines thought up by PR companies who work for the social media platforms. 

THe social media companies care about 2 things only.

1) Staying on the 'right side' of the US / European / Canadian / Australian governments, because the vast majority of their real customers (you are their product, btw, not their customer) who pay them are in these countries and they know they couldn't operate in these countries without that. The main way they 'stay on the right side' of these governments is by letting their spam bots operate on the platforms unchecked. These are the bots we are talking about. 

Most of the people of these countries (US / Europe / Canada / Australia) don't agree with much of the domestic policies and almost none of the foreign policies of the governments, those who actually know what the foreign policies of their governments are. They know these policies are not in their interests. So these bots 'smooth out the edges' for these governments by making it 'seem like' they are 'democracies' and that most of the people agree with their policies. Yes, the bots that they made agree, not the people. 

This is called 'Manufacturing Consent'. Noam Chomsky wrote a book about it back in the 1960s. I suggest everyone read that book. The methods he talked about are 'old media' methods because the Internet didn't exist when he wrote the book. They have transferred these same methods over to the Internet now thru social media. 

2) Showing their customers that their site has lots of unique visitors, i.e. eyeballs on screen. The more unique visitors, the more money they can charge their customers (advertisers), and the more money they make. 

This is, btw, at the root of the recent issue between Elon Musk and Twitter. Most people know that alot of the traffic on twitter is bots, not real people. I guess Musk and his team figure out that most of the traffic on twitter is bots so they didn't think the company was that valuble. 

This is why I encourage brothers and sisters not to spend too much time on social media. You will get a very warped view of reality that way. Spend most of your time in physical proximity, actual face to face conversations with people that you love, respect, admire. That way, whatever happens on social media, it won't affect your life too much. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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I gotta be honest, I have no idea what y'all are talking about. I've got and I use social media but all I ever see is people I actually know on Facebook or Instagram. I don't use Snapchat or tiktok.  My Twitter is a little crazy,  but I really don't think most of who I see there are bots - there is no way a bot could be so chaotic and full of personality as most of the strangers I read.  

Definitely I'm getting a filtered view, we all are, but I don't know why I'm not seeing all the evil that so many other people are talking about.  

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Abu Hadi said:

It is about $$$. Not about truth, not about 'bringing people together',

This is absolutely true. Under a capitalist system if you're not paying,  you are the product.  

Edited by notme
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4 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

This is why I encourage brothers and sisters not to spend too much time on social media. You will get a very warped view of reality that way. Spend most of your time in physical proximity, actual face to face conversations with people that you love, respect, admire. That way, whatever happens on social media, it won't affect your life too much. 

This is solid advice that I would second. (Though I could definitely be better at following it, as many of us could)

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Abu Hadi said:

The bots today are not like those of, say the 00s or the 10s. These bots are very, very sophisticated. Part of my job, in my real work, is training AI (artificial intelligence) models, not for bots, but the process is the same. I know the technology from the backend. I'm still learning it, but I have more information than most people have.

So without going into too much detail and boring people, AI is only as sophisticated as the data you give it. AI relies on gigantic volumes of data (lots and lots of examples) in order to train the AI model. For example, with text posts, the AI model is fed, given examples of, millions of posts on a given subject. When it is trained, the 'trainor' can give preference to certain types of posts, score them higher so that the AI bot will try to emulate them. This is called assigning weights.The main criteria, for weights, is popularity. They will always try to emulate the popular posts as closely as possible, because the goal of the spam bot is always to get many people to see their posts, and popular posts spread and are given automatic credibility. It's one step in the training process. They can weigh posts heavier that talk about Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)), Rasoulallah(p.b.u.h), etc, if they are talking to Muslims and Shia. Then the bot will incorporate those references into it's posts. They can also feed in other posts and weigh them. For example if they are talking to Iranians, the millions of examples would be in Farsi instead of English and they could weigh posts that talk about Iranian Nationalism or women's rights higher so that the bot brings up these more in it's responses. 

After the training process is done, and the bot is unleashed, the average person, even a sophisticated average person, would have a hard time figuring out which posts are from bots and which are from real people, because most of the content of the posts is just normal stuff (my name is __, I live in ___, I like eating chocolate cake, etc). That's why it sounds like a normal person, until it delivers it's 'payload', which is the content that it is engineered to echo and propagate. I use the term payload because it is engineered exactly like a military weapon. To get to the target (which is the psyche and sentiments of a certain type of person) and then deliver it's munition, which is falsehood which is in someone's interest to propagate. 

This is the new world we are living in. There are bots posting right now on SC. When we figure them out, we ban them, but even we (even us tech people) have a hard time figuring out which are the bots, just from their posts. 

I also work in the AI space, more specifically the NLP space, including conversational AI. Docs type work. I don’t build and train models, though I’ve done a fair bit of course work studying how they work and coding up toy projects. 

In terms of the comment about how much better they are these days, yes and no. It depends on the size of the text.

Convincing fake Tweets are definitely well within the capabilities of modern NLP, especially with BERT/Transformer type models. And up to a few paragraphs they can pass the test for a good while. 

You get up to a few hundred words though, especially if you get a few different posts, it becomes pretty clear pretty quickly you’re dealing either with a bot or someone who’s just “not right.” (Although there are plenty of people out there online who are “not right,” so it can get fuzzy sometimes). The problem is, although the large language models have gotten eerily good at absorbing a lot of the structures and feel of human writing and a realistic sort of sense of how frequent words are and how they tend to appear in sentences, they still end up saying really weird things that don’t make sense pretty quickly. 

There’s still a qualitative lack of real understanding present in the output of these models. 

Edited by kadhim
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@Abu Hadi that's actually fascinating. Are there any "tells" to look for? 

@kadhim feel free to chime in if you have an answer also. 

Do you think it's possible in the near future for AI to be indistinguishable from a real person? I wonder about the implications of that, regarding sentience and free will.  

There's also the fact that my opinions are not much influenced by the opinions and actions of strangers so I'm probably not their target audience. 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, notme said:

Are there any "tells" to look for? 

some emotions are harder to program, like @kadhim'kadhim's witty and dripping sarcasm, makes me sure he's not a bot.

A Elon Musk type of fused Human robot AI interface...possible, but definitely some sort of meat package with real neurons.

Sorry bro just joking....but is it fascinating that both @kadhimand @Abu Hadi are involved in higher level AI type computer work...

 

 

NLP is short for Neurolinguistic Programming or something else??

Can you guys talk about neural networks and other AI based programing models.

Thanks for a peek behind the curtain bros, it was very educational.

Edited by Hasani Samnani
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4 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

There are bots posting right now on SC

can I give my suspicions....

:brucelee:

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, kadhim said:

Obviously it kind of makes sense everyone is up to this. It’s a logical next step in information warfare. 

But obviously our "friends" at DARPA and the Pentagon are way ahead in informational cyberwarfare and psyops, that's why Ayatullah Khamenei's recent speech  that @Abu Hadiand a few others linked to and alluding to this,  was so timely.

Also we can't leave out our masters of game theory and deadly cyber warfare,  at Unit 8200 and those who fight by way of deception, the litte Shaytan and their clandestine intelligence unit.

Edited by Hasani Samnani
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1 hour ago, Hasani Samnani said:

Unit 8200

I know of DARPA. They basically invented the internet. But who/what is Unit 8200?

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2 hours ago, Hasani Samnani said:

NLP is short for Neurolinguistic Programming or something else??

Yeah. NLP is Natural Language Processing. Basically applications related to communicating with a machine with natural human language. As well as programs that can perform human-like actions on speech or text.

So things like:

- text to speech

- speech to text (machine transcription)

- natural language understanding (NLU): the program can take human text and infer what the person wants to do, pick out useful information, and then do what the person wants to do

- text summarization: take a long text and give a shorter text that captures the key points 

- machine translation

- question answering 

- sentiment analysis (what is the person’s mood or attitude based on the text)

- word segmentation (such as East Asian languages that don’t put spaces between words) 

It’s a big field.

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2 hours ago, Hasani Samnani said:

some emotions are harder to program, like @kadhim'kadhim's witty and dripping sarcasm, makes me sure he's not a bot.

A Elon Musk type of fused Human robot AI interface...possible, but definitely some sort of meat package with real neurons.

My CPU is a neural net processor.

Come with me if you want to live.

I know now why you cry. But it is something I can never do. 

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On 10/2/2022 at 4:04 AM, Abu Hadi said:

The other thing bots will often do is 'hijack' an account. They will crack the password of a real person's account (pretty easy to do since most people make weak passwords, don't use 2 factor authentication,  and social media companies are very lax when it comes to security, by design) and then use that person's account to post so it seems like the posts are coming from a real person. These are called 'zombie accounts', and there are millions of them.

:confused: should I be worried?

ayat al-kursi

surah al-nas X3

surah al-falaq X3

surah al-ikhlas X3

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Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, -Rejector- said:

should I be worried

Naw bro, you're good I think. 

35 minutes ago, -Rejector- said:

hijack' an account

You might want to get a ta'wiz to place on your computer though, I recommend Hirz e Jawad :brucelee:

Or a USB TA'WIZ might be better.

Edited by Hasani Samnani
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On 10/1/2022 at 8:39 PM, notme said:

I gotta be honest, I have no idea what y'all are talking about. I've got and I use social media but all I ever see is people I actually know on Facebook or Instagram. I don't use Snapchat or tiktok.  My Twitter is a little crazy,  but I really don't think most of who I see there are bots - there is no way a bot could be so chaotic and full of personality as most of the strangers I read.  

Definitely I'm getting a filtered view, we all are, but I don't know why I'm not seeing all the evil that so many other people are talking about.  

That is precisely how it is designed to be. To look as if all is well, while it is not. 

On 10/1/2022 at 11:24 PM, notme said:

There's also the fact that my opinions are not much influenced by the opinions and actions of strangers so I'm probably not their target audience.

Where are the people within your circle getting their news and information from? 

This is the tricky part. We have been lulled into this faux sense of security that we can be 'neutral' in this war. We cannot. If you dig deep enough you will find the trail leading somewhere or the other. 

They have multiple ways to reach us. 

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31 minutes ago, AbdusSibtayn said:

Where are the people within your circle getting their news and information from? 

Most of my family are a bunch of right wingers who get their opinions straight from fox news. 

My friends tend to focus more on local issues because that's where we can actually make a difference,  though we do discuss national and international events too.  We just don't trust any media and acknowledge that we don't know anything in full.  

I don't have much of a circle.  I'm kind of isolated.  

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8 hours ago, AbdusSibtayn said:

We have been lulled into this faux sense of security that we can be 'neutral' in this war.

There has never been a neutral in any conflict, but there have been conflicts where there were no "good guys".

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On 10/1/2022 at 12:54 PM, notme said:

@Abu Hadi that's actually fascinating. Are there any "tells" to look for? 

@kadhim feel free to chime in if you have an answer also. 

Do you think it's possible in the near future for AI to be indistinguishable from a real person? I wonder about the implications of that, regarding sentience and free will.  

There's also the fact that my opinions are not much influenced by the opinions and actions of strangers so I'm probably not their target audience. 

As far as the sentient issue, Sentient means a living being. We as Muslims believe it is Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that creates life, and also it says in the Quran 'We created every living thing from water'. Where there is no water, there is no life. 

AI is only a computer program, but a very sophisticated one. So I wouldn't say it classifies as 'alive' in any way. The AI operates within the parameters set for it by it's programmer, i.e. it's creator (small c). It can't go outside of those. It can't grow, change, reprogram itself (outside the parameters set for it by it's programmer). It doesn't have free will. Someday, (and this is the worry of alot of people), AI may get the ability to have a sort of 'free will', in other words general intelligence, where it can become 'self aware' and try to actively do things to preserve itself and try to stop people from shutting it down, in new and novel ways that are outside of it's parameters set by the programmer(s) who made it. (think Terminator and Skynet). Some people think that this type of AI already exists, though I haven't seen evidence of this., but it might exist or probably will exist in the near future. That is the 'scary' part of AI that people talk about. 

There is some evidence that this exists. I have seen some demonstrations, but I haven't actually looked at the code, so I don't know what it's actually doing. 

At the same time, this doesn't classify as 'life' from the Islamic perspective. 

As for influence, everyone is influenced by those around them. You might not think you are, but it affects your thoughts and opinions in a subtle way. You cannot interact with someone without them also interacting with you. You cannot touch someone without also being touched by them. That is why we are taught, in Islam, to be careful about who are friends are, where we go, who we interact with, etc. All these things influence us, to a greater or lesser degree. If you have a strong belief system and sound and rational judgement, in general, you may not be influenced as much as other people who don't have this, but the influence is still there if you really think about it. 

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7 hours ago, Abu Hadi said:

As far as the sentient issue, Sentient means a living being. We as Muslims believe it is Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) that creates life, and also it says in the Quran 'We created every living thing from water'. Where there is no water, there is no life. 

AI is only a computer program, but a very sophisticated one. So I wouldn't say it classifies as 'alive' in any way. The AI operates within the parameters set for it by it's programmer, i.e. it's creator (small c). It can't go outside of those. It can't grow, change, reprogram itself (outside the parameters set for it by it's programmer). It doesn't have free will. Someday, (and this is the worry of alot of people), AI may get the ability to have a sort of 'free will', in other words general intelligence, where it can become 'self aware' and try to actively do things to preserve itself and try to stop people from shutting it down, in new and novel ways that are outside of it's parameters set by the programmer(s) who made it. (think Terminator and Skynet). Some people think that this type of AI already exists, though I haven't seen evidence of this., but it might exist or probably will exist in the near future. That is the 'scary' part of AI that people talk about. 

There is some evidence that this exists. I have seen some demonstrations, but I haven't actually looked at the code, so I don't know what it's actually doing. 

At the same time, this doesn't classify as 'life' from the Islamic perspective. 

As for influence, everyone is influenced by those around them. You might not think you are, but it affects your thoughts and opinions in a subtle way. You cannot interact with someone without them also interacting with you. You cannot touch someone without also being touched by them. That is why we are taught, in Islam, to be careful about who are friends are, where we go, who we interact with, etc. All these things influence us, to a greater or lesser degree. If you have a strong belief system and sound and rational judgement, in general, you may not be influenced as much as other people who don't have this, but the influence is still there if you really think about it. 

 

 

 

Computers do not think.

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4 hours ago, Abu Nur said:

Computers do not think.

They don't think like we do, but the type of AI I was working with uses neural networks. They work in a similar way to how our brain works. If you want to call that 'thinking' or not I guess is kind of a matter of opinion. 

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1 minute ago, Abu Hadi said:

They don't think like we do, but the type of AI I was working with uses neural networks. They work in a similar way to how our brain works. If you want to call that 'thinking' or not I guess is kind of a matter of opinion. 

Computers can not archive consciousness because they literally can not think so they can no have self awareness. What you are describing is AI where it is based on mathematical principles of function of input and output of approximation. We can create a program that uses all different data to approximate of wanted output, this is an calculation. But Consciousness is not something that we can collect all the data and program them to think.

The computer is not a thinking machine, nor should its competence be taken for intelligence. Rather, the computer upholds the inhuman demands of Kant’s humbling resolution of Humean skepticism—“stay in your lane!” It does not need to stray and leave the domain of possible experience. It is not guided by a subjective need to judge; it is a device used to expand the domain of experience by the careful layering of mediating representations (middleware) prepared for experiential use. In order to act in this space of orientation computers require external assistance—they do not think by themselves. But the computer mediates between abstract concepts and reality and thus serves to orient thinking. In orienting thinking, machines are vastly more competent. While the intelligence of humans is a magnetic to its own compass, computers abandon intelligence for perfect command of orientation, exhibited in the refusal to follow unexecutable commands. The enforcement of a common sense on users is the essence of computers, and it is the source of their seemingly infinite utility. By layering representations one atop the other, more and more conceptual territory is mapped and made actionable.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00146-020-01068-x

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46 minutes ago, Abu Nur said:

Computers can not archive consciousness because they literally can not think so they can no have self awareness. What you are describing is AI where it is based on mathematical principles of function of input and output of approximation. We can create a program that uses all different data to approximate of wanted output, this is an calculation. But Consciousness is not something that we can collect all the data and program them to think.

The computer is not a thinking machine, nor should its competence be taken for intelligence. Rather, the computer upholds the inhuman demands of Kant’s humbling resolution of Humean skepticism—“stay in your lane!” It does not need to stray and leave the domain of possible experience. It is not guided by a subjective need to judge; it is a device used to expand the domain of experience by the careful layering of mediating representations (middleware) prepared for experiential use. In order to act in this space of orientation computers require external assistance—they do not think by themselves. But the computer mediates between abstract concepts and reality and thus serves to orient thinking. In orienting thinking, machines are vastly more competent. While the intelligence of humans is a magnetic to its own compass, computers abandon intelligence for perfect command of orientation, exhibited in the refusal to follow unexecutable commands. The enforcement of a common sense on users is the essence of computers, and it is the source of their seemingly infinite utility. By layering representations one atop the other, more and more conceptual territory is mapped and made actionable.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00146-020-01068-x

You have opened up a very deep subject with this. Probably we need another thread for this, but briefly and from an Islamic perspective. 

We believe that our 'mind' is not only our physical brain. We have the aql (no exact word for word translation of this but approximately it means rational thought) and the qalb (the spiritual heart). We also have the different 'selves', such as the animal self (nafs al ammarah), the perfected self (nafs al mu'imainah), etc. Those parts of us that are non physical are the real 'self'. A computer obviously doesn't have those things, and AI also doesn't have those things. So we can't say that it has a 'self' like we do. 

At the same time, when you say the word 'think' or 'thinking', to me anyway, this describes a process of taking in information from the world around you, thru the senses, processing that information based on what you already know about the world and then adding that information to the information you have, and then acting on that information based on some set of goals that you have. If we go with that definition of 'thinking', then AI can already do that, and in many cases can do it better than we as human beings can. As far as 'self awareness', we have some evidence (again probably need another thread for this) that extremely sophisticated AI can get to the point where it is self aware. Does that mean that it is 'alive' in the Islamic definition or that it has a soul, in the Islamic definition. No. If that were the case, then we would have to give it rights, like we give animals and the natural world. Because it has no such rights, it is also not considered something with a soul. 

 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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