rvenkat + via:zeynep   28

[1802.00048] Deceptive Games
Deceptive games are games where the reward structure or other aspects of the game are designed to lead the agent away from a globally optimal policy. While many games are already deceptive to some extent, we designed a series of games in the Video Game Description Language (VGDL) implementing specific types of deception, classified by the cognitive biases they exploit. VGDL games can be run in the General Video Game Artificial Intelligence (GVGAI) Framework, making it possible to test a variety of existing AI agents that have been submitted to the GVGAI Competition on these deceptive games. Our results show that all tested agents are vulnerable to several kinds of deception, but that different agents have different weaknesses. This suggests that we can use deception to understand the capabilities of a game-playing algorithm, and game-playing algorithms to characterize the deception displayed by a game.
artificial_intelligence  adversarial_examples  ?  via:zeynep 
february 2018 by rvenkat
Mapping the anti-vaccination movement on Facebook: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 0, No 0
Over the past decade, anti-vaccination rhetoric has become part of the mainstream discourse regarding the public health practice of childhood vaccination. These utilise social media to foster online spaces that strengthen and popularise anti-vaccination discourses. In this paper, we examine the characteristics of and the discourses present within six popular anti-vaccination Facebook pages. We examine these large-scale datasets using a range of methods, including social network analysis, gender prediction using historical census data, and generative statistical models for topic analysis (Latent Dirichlet allocation). We find that present-day discourses centre around moral outrage and structural oppression by institutional government and the media, suggesting a strong logic of ‘conspiracy-style’ beliefs and thinking. Furthermore, anti-vaccination pages on Facebook reflect a highly ‘feminised’ movement ‒ the vast majority of participants are women. Although anti-vaccination networks on Facebook are large and global in scope, the comment activity sub-networks appear to be ‘small world’. This suggests that social media may have a role in spreading anti-vaccination ideas and making the movement durable on a global scale.
conspiracy_theories  social_media  social_networks  contagion  sentiment_analysis  topic_model  networks  teaching  via:zeynep 
december 2017 by rvenkat
AUTOMATING INEQUALITY by Virginia Eubanks | Kirkus Reviews
-- As long as they are open, transparent and regulated, I see no problem with an automated bureaucracy. I understand the concerns but I am becoming increasingly numb to this monotonous tone of the critics. Then again, bureaucracy is never known to operate under openness, transparency and sensible regulations to go along with it.

Technology has been mostly good to humankind and there is no reason to expect that *this* is going to be any different. But who knows, maybe civilization will end in a catastrophic *core dump*...
book  algorithms  machine_learning  big_data  automation  ethics  inequality  critical_theory  phobia  sociology_of_technology  bureaucracy  governance  regulation  via:zeynep 
december 2017 by rvenkat
How Social Media Spurred Violence Against Rohingya in Myanmar — Refugees Deeply
Did social media _cause_ this violence? Do social media (spur)cause nationalism, in the absence of other socio-political conditions?
asia  burma  ethnic_cleansing  race  discrimination  misinformation  disinformation  nationalism  religion  networked_public_sphere  social_media  extremism  epidemiology  norms  democracy  via:zeynep 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Social media and political discussion: when online presence silences offline conversation: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 20, No 7
This paper explores the relationship between the use of social media, attitudinal strength, perceived opinion agreement with social ties, and willingness to discuss a political issue in different online and offline contexts. Unlike the anonymous environment of some Internet forums, social media are closely tied to the relationships and activities of everyday life. Social media increasingly make ties from offline contexts persistent online, and, because of the ambient nature of these technologies, awareness of the opinions, interests, and activities of social ties has become pervasive. As such, the use of social media is likely to affect everyday conversation about political issues in on- and offline contexts, including the home, workplace, social gatherings with friends, community meetings, and on social network sites (SNSs). Based on a national probability survey, we find that the use of SNSs (i.e., Facebook and Twitter) has a direct, negative relationship to deliberation in many offline settings. Some uses of these platforms are associated with having a lower, perceived opinion agreement with social ties. As part of a spiral of silence, this further reduces the willingness of social media users to join political conversations in some offline settings. Only those with the strongest attitudes on an issue are immune.
media_studies  social_media  social_networks  networked_life  opinion_formation  collective_action  political_psychology  social_movements  dmce  teaching  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Analytic Activism - Paperback - David Karpf - Oxford University Press
Among the ways that digital media has transformed political activism, the most remarkable is not that new media allows disorganized masses to speak, but that it enables organized activist groups to listen. Beneath the waves of e-petitions, "likes," and hashtags lies a sea of data - a newly quantified form of supporter sentiment - and advocacy organizations can now utilize new tools to measure this data to make decisions and shape campaigns. In this book, David Karpf discusses the power and potential of this new "analytic activism," exploring the organizational and media logics that determine how digital inputs shape the choices that political campaigners make. He provides the first careful analysis of how organizations like Change.org and Upworthy.com influence the types of political narratives that dominate our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines, and how MoveOn.org and its "netroots" peers use analytics to listen more effectively to their members and supporters. As well, he identifies the boundaries that define the scope of this new style of organized citizen engagement. But also raising a note of caution, Karpf identifies the dangers and limitations in putting too much faith in these new forms of organized listening.
book  social_movements  networked_life  social_media  media_studies  political_sociology  political_science  via:zeynep 
april 2017 by rvenkat
Online clustering, fear and uncertainty in Egypt’s transition: Democratization: Vol 0, No 0
Does the uncertainty associated with post-authoritarian transitions cause political and social polarization? Does ubiquitous social media exacerbate these problems and thus make successful democratic transitions less likely? This article examines these questions in the case of Egypt between the 11 February 2011 fall of President Hosni Mubarak and the 3 July 2013 military coup, which overthrew President Mohamed el-Morsi. The analysis is based on a Twitter dataset including 62 million tweets by 7 million unique users. Using a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods, we demonstrate how clusters of users form and evolve over time, the density of interactions between them, and the flow of particular types of information through the clustered network structure. We show that the Egyptian Twitter public developed into increasingly isolated clusters of the like-minded which shared information unevenly. We argue that the growing distance between these clusters encouraged political conflict and facilitated the spread of fear and hatred, which ultimately undermined the democratic transition and won popular support for the military coup.
networked_life  social_movements  social_networks  twitter  democracy  collective_cognition  information_diffusion  networks  teaching  via:zeynep 
february 2017 by rvenkat
Hegemony How-To | AK Press
Hegemony How-To is a practical guide to political struggle for a generation that is deeply ambivalent about questions of power, leadership, and strategy. Hopeful about the potential of today’s burgeoning movements, long-time grassroots organizer Jonathan Smucker nonetheless pulls no punches when confronting their internal dysfunction. Drawing from personal experience, he provides deep theoretical insight into the all-too-familiar radical tendency toward self-defeating insularity and paralyzing purism. At the same time, he offers tools to bridge the divide between anti-authoritarian values and hegemonic strategies, tools that might just help today’s movements to navigate their obstacles—and change the world.

Jonathan Smucker is the Director of Beyond the Choir and has worked for more than two decades as an organizer and strategist in grassroots social movements. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The Sociological Quarterly, and elsewhere.

https://jonathansmucker.org/
social_movements  democracy  collective_intention  cultural_cognition  sociology  via:zeynep 
february 2017 by rvenkat

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