Friday, May 24, 2024

Pushback against rise of disinformation is paramount

Speaking last week at the Economic Developers Alberta annual conference about the risks and opportunities that come with the burgeoning realm of artificial intelligence, the room seemed to be evenly split in terms of who appreciated my message and who looked at me as if I were an evil creature from another planet.

I took that as a compliment, since three years earlier when we launched BIG-Media.ca, roughly 97% of people thought I was a crazy and dangerous form of (un)intelligent life.

My message was simple: most of us have already been fooled by AI and algorithms — and it’s about to get much worse.

I used a couple of popular myths to highlight the trend:

* If you believe that there is a massive island of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean, you have been duped.

* If you believe that the very high number of excess deaths during the pandemic were among elderly people and were from COVID, then you have been duped.

Skeptical conference-goers were invited to fire any questions at me in the Q&A or following the talk.

BIG Media followers are already aware of the myth-conceptions thanks to the work of an incredible editorial team that includes doctor of geology/entrepreneur/educator Brad Hayes (Taking a critical look at the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’) and geoscientist and data wiz Laurie Weston (Detailed analysis of 2021 death data reveals disturbing trends), both of whom excel at sticking to fundamental truths and logic.

The increasing ease with which bad actors disseminate vast amounts of disinformation is a growing concern.

It is therefore paramount that we push back by arming citizens with the most effective defensive weapons — critical thinking and discernment regarding the messaging to which we are exposed.

We must help each other find trustworthy sources of information.

You can start your list with BIG Media, at which you will find news coverage of industry-leading accuracy, integrity, and transparency.

It is not easy to find and support news sources that you can trust, but it is worth the effort as the future of our society depends on good people arming themselves with practical knowledge and critical-thinking skills.

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.
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