We are pleased to present you with a in depth workshop titled “Techniques of influence and mass manipulation” aimed for professionals across all sectors who are looking to be proficient in security and communication strategies to protect your organization from news propaganda. Led by renowned disinformation expert Rand Waltzmann who has curated this interactive and in-depth course from decades of experience working for top security agencies such as DARPA and Rand gives participants an opportunity to upgrade career profiles with credible skills in counter strategies and techniques to combat disinformation. Upon successful completion of this course, participants can pursue roles related to artificial intelligence, cyber security, external communications, brand management, analytics and research and more.
Senior Information Scientist, RAND Corporation
Dr. Waltzman has 35 years of experience performing and managing research in Artificial Intelligence applied to domains including social media and cognitive security in the information environment. He is the former Deputy Chief Technology Officer and currently Adjunct Senior Information Scientist at the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, CA. Prior to joining RAND, he was the acting Chief Technology Officer of the Software Engineering Institute (Washington, DC) of Carnegie Mellon University. Before that he did a five-year tour as a Program Manager in the Information Innovation Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) where he created and managed the Social Media in Strategic Communications (SMISC) program and the Anomaly Detection at Multiple Scales (ADAMS) insider threat detection program.
Dr. Waltzman joined DARPA from Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Laboratories (LM-ATL), where he served as Chief Scientist for the Applied Sciences Laboratory that specializes in advanced software techniques and the computational physics of materials. Prior to LM-ATL he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, where he taught and performed research in applications of Artificial Intelligence technology to a variety of problem areas including digital entertainment, automated reasoning and decision support and cyber threat detection. He has also held research positions at the University of Maryland, Teknowledge Corporation (the first commercial Artificial Intelligence company in the world where he started in 1983), and the Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington. Dr. Waltzman serves as Advisory Board Member of GLOBSEC HADES initiative.
This session will introduce and give an overview of techniques of influence and mass manipulation through the Information Environment (IE). The goals of this session are to help course participants (1) understand the extent to which persistent computer networks create threats for the security of social systems, (2) understand the use of information operations through the IE to influence, misinform, manipulate and erode trust among targeted communities and within the public at large, and (3) introduce techniques to ensure greater trust among members, inhibit susceptibility to false information, and enhance awareness of malicious third parties trying to exert influence.
This session will introduce the notion of propaganda and cover some of its basic premises and techniques. Propaganda is a type of one way communication used to influence an audience. It is not designed to engage the audience in a conversation. It is a form of psychological manipulation that should serve a persuasive purpose, have a sizeable target audience, promote a specific group’s agenda, and be based on faulty reasoning or emotional appeal. In this session we will discuss a number of tried-and-true techniques for creating propaganda that can be applied either individually or in combination.
In this session we will discuss the structure and function of rumors. Rumors are a means of communicating information with the goal of influencing the opinions, attitudes, and behavior of a specific group in a way that benefits the originator of the rumor. The information does not need to be true. It only needs to be plausible. Rumors thrive in periods of social stress and uncertainty and can be used to destroy public morale and confidence in authorities. The emotional needs most frequently served by rumors are wish, fear (e.g., to induce panic) and hostility (e.g., to drive a wedge between groups/allies).
In this session we will discuss the nature and use of forgeries in the IE. Forgeries are an important part of the tool kit of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation and have probably been so since the beginning of history. Forgeries have evolved over time to match developments in technology available to produce them as well as the means available to incorporate them into various manipulation schemes. The modern digital information environment has presented many new opportunities for the creation and application of forgeries.
Cognitive Science is a large and rapidly developing field. In this chapter we will cover some basic principles of Cognitive Science that are particularly applicable to creating and executing influence operations and especially support deception and disinformation.
In this session we will discuss basic concepts of deception and their application to creating and executing influence campaigns. We will cover subtleties of basic concepts. Deception is any attempt by words or actions intended to distort a target’s perception of reality. The ideal deception makes the target certain but wrong. A lie is any statement made with the intent to deceive. There are no claims about the moral or factual nature of the statement. Even truth can sometimes be the best lie. These definitions avoid confusion with mere misinformation, incomplete information, or the truth value of statements.
In this session we will cover basic techniques and applications of con artistry in the IE. We will consider the art of the con as close in, one on one type of deception operation designed to emotionally manipulate a target to take some action to the advantage of the con artist and against his own interest. The con is well suited to modern times. It thrives in times of transition and rapid change that breed uncertainty and presents the perfect opportunity to exploit that feeling. The current revolution in the IE is changing everything at once and providing unprecedented opportunities for the con.
In this session we will discuss the structure and application of character assassination. The primary aim of a character attack is to influence the way others perceive the target in a negative way. This can be achieved by attacking a target’s allegiance, trustworthiness, family background, ethnicity, sexual behavior and any other aspect of his or her personality. The modern information environment offers possibilities for carrying out character assassinations unlike any time before. However, to fully exploit the range of possibilities supported by modern technology, it is important to master the many fundamental aspects of this type of activity that have stood the test of time.
In this session we will discuss the formulation and application of conspiracy theories. We will cover basic principles for creating effective conspiracy theories. For example, a good theory should appear to provide a simple and emotionally appealing explanation for a situation that is complex and confusing to your audience even if upon close inspection it does not make sense. The more desperate your target audience becomes to uncover the hidden truth they have been convinced must be there, the more difficult it will be to dissuade them from the self-destructive course that has been set for them.
In this session we will discuss the integration of Artificial Intelligence technologies into Machine-Driven Manipulation tools used to automate influence and manipulation of target audiences in the IE. We will discuss ways to tailor persuasive, distracting, or intimidating messaging toward group or individual targets based on their unique personalities and backgrounds. We will show how to automate massive scale production of highly personalized propaganda and weaponized narratives. We will discuss ways to exploit the mass of online data and easily available marketing databases to infer a target’s personality, political preferences, religious affiliation, demographic data, and interests.
In light of the latest rapid developments in deep learning, we are thrilled to present you with an interactive session titled, “Fake Anything, be anyone with Deep Learning”, designed to explore how such advancements has enabled the creation of quality synthetic media with unparalleled ease. creating a world where anyone can be anybody they want online. Led by, leading machine-learning researcher and new-media artist, Dr. Eyal Gruss, this workshop offers hands-on participatory and creative tutorial, helping you create deep-fake videos using your own materials, and play with various options to help you be one step closer to creating your own fake identity online.
Machine Learning Researcher, Consultant and New Media Artist
Dr. Eyal Gruss is a machine learning researcher, consultant and teacher, working mainly in image and language processing. Eyal has a diverse industry background, including medical, financial, cyber, sensors, ads, web, real-estate and creative. Eyal holds a PhD in physics, and is a Talpiyot graduate. He is a mentor for Google Launchpad and gave ~150 talks, workshops and tutorials on machine learning or computational creativity to both professionals and the general public. Eyal is also a failed entrepreneur, and a guerrilla social activist. Eyal is a poet and a new-media artist, creating interactive installations, computer generated art, algorithmic poetry, audio-visual performances, AI art online interventions. Eyal also runs a new-media opportunities newsletter and hosts mini-residency for new-media artists interested in AI.
In this workshop, you will learn how you can be anybody you want online with the very recent developments in deep learning which allows creating synthetic media of unprecedented quality and ease. The ability came not a moment too soon, as Human communication was forced to move online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Can this be an opportunity to fulfill the long-promised cybernetic utopia, where we could shed our physical shells and become however we wish to be? And how does this pertain to issues of privacy, identity, and trust? This is a hands-on participatory and creative tutorial, where Dr. Eyal will help you create deep-fake videos using your own materials, and play with various options to help you be one step closer to creating your own fake identity online.
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