MAchine-Driven MANipulation (MADMAN)

Friday, March 5, 2021, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm PSTiCal
Virtually This event is open to the public.
AI Seminar
Dr. Rand Waltzman
Video Recording:

The modern information environment offers rich possibilities for the application of Machine-Driven Manipulation (MADMAN) tools used to spread mis/disinformation for the purpose of manipulating public opinion at a spatial and temporal scale previously unimagined.  This talk will focus on the integration of a variety of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies into MADMAN tools.  AI technology can be used to tailor persuasive, distracting, or intimidating messaging toward group or individual targets based on their unique personalities and backgrounds.  MADMAN supports the automation of large-scale production of highly personalized propaganda.  MADMAN tools exploit the mass of online data and easily available marketing databases to infer targets’ personality, political preferences, religious affiliation, demographic data, interests etc. to tune messaging to resonate with targets’ psychological makeup and interests.  MADMAN can be based on real facts, outright lies, or a mix of just enough truth and falsehood to achieve an effect.  If we are to have any hope of mitigating the damaging effects of MADMAN, we must be clear and open about the dangers the technology poses for society.  Rather than trying to control the dissemination of the technology, we must consider how the very same technology can be used to mitigate its damaging effects.

Dr. Waltzman has 38 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 formerly Deputy Chief Technology Officer and a 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. Before his professorship he served as a DARPA Program Manager focusing on Artificial Intelligence and Image Understanding. Dr. Waltzman 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.

HOST: Keith Burghardt


The recording will be posted on our AI SEMINARS playlist for USC/ISI's YouTube page within 1-2 business days:

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