Cory Doctorow writes:
There is a war for your attention, and like all adversarial scenarios, the sides develop new countermeasures and then new tactics to overcome those countermeasures.
Using a metaphor from virology, he notes that we become to immune to certain types of manipulation over time:
When a new attentional soft spot is discovered, the world can change overnight. One day, everyone you know is signal boosting, retweeting, and posting Upworthy headlines like “This video might hurt to watch. Luckily, it might also explain why,” or “Most Of These People Do The Right Thing, But The Guys At The End? I Wish I Could Yell At Them.” The style was compelling at first, then reductive and simplistic, then annoying. Now it’s ironic (at best). Some people are definitely still susceptible to “This Is The Most Inspiring Yet Depressing Yet Hilarious Yet Horrifying Yet Heartwarming Grad Speech,” but the rest of us have adapted, and these headlines bounce off of our attention like pre-penicillin bacteria being batted aside by our 21st century immune systems.
However, the thing I’m concerned about is the kind of AI-based manipulation that is forever shape-shifting. How do we become immune to a moving target?
Source: Locus magazine
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