Public opinion shifts, skewed election results, mass confusion, ethnic violence, war. All of these events could easily be triggered by deep
It will soon be impossible to tell by the naked eye or ear whether a video or audio clip is authentic. While propaganda is nothing new, the visceral immediacy of voice and image give deep
After showing over 3,000 adults fake images accompanied by fabricated text, a group of researchers reached two conclusions. First, the more online experience and familiarity with digital photography one had, the more skeptical the person evaluating the information was. Second, confirmation bias—the tendency to frame new information to support our pre-existing beliefs—was a big factor in how people judged the veracity of the fake information.
The researchers recommend focusing on improved digital literacy to counter deep
To understand how a well-executed deep
Today's information sources are increasingly fragmented and micro-targeted. It is easy to find outlets for news you agree with and want to hear, and equally easy to tune out what you don't. This plays into the hands of those who seek to disinform. Bad actors can hijack social media to amplify the desirability bias. Psychologists found that repeating the same message boosts the propaganda effect through a process called priming. The more you are exposed to a statement, the likelier you are to rate it as true.
There is a rich body of research on cognitive psychology and decision-making. One of the best works is Psychology of Intelligence Analysis, written by Richards Heuer, a longtime CIA officer. This book is a cornerstone for teaching the art and science of analytic tradecraft in the U.S. intelligence community. It also holds important lessons on how to help combat deep
Two of Heuer's key points are that being aware of cognitive biases is not enough. You also have to apply methods that foster higher levels of critical thinking, such as structuring information using decision trees and causal diagrams, and by challenging assumptions.
American high schools and colleges should incorporate cognitive psychology into their mandatory curricula. In an era of constant information and disinformation bombardment, there is a societal need to improve critical thinking by teaching tools and techniques to tackle cognitive biases. While this will not be easy, even successfully teaching a small percentage of students these concepts will help. Teaching people to pause and assess information before blindly sharing a shocking video will help to stem a deep
We cannot look to technology alone to tackle the problem. The reason deep