Event Write-up - Hacking an Election

On September 17th, 5:30pm to 7:00pm, Patrick Walsh and Gregory Edwards at Decoded (decoded.com) demystified the technology that makes data valuable. Specifically, Machine Learning, its relationship to AI, and how it has proved an invaluable tool for mass persuasion in the digital age.

They first demystified the roots of AI and Machine learning and the types of problems that they solve, then showed how data scientists have been able to take these tools to the arena of political persuasion. Along the way they asked deep questions about what data privacy means and why it is important for society, how data is shared in the modern world, and why data scientists should begin to follow a moral code.

Key concepts covered included: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Security & Privacy, Data Breaches and Data Ethics.

Following the talk, Patrick shared the following, links to the websites they displayed as well as further information on the stories they shared:

LINKS FROM PRESENTATION

The Way Back Machine - An archive of every webpage on the internet https://archive.org/web

Apply Apple Sauce - An algorithm that translates individuals’ digital footprints into psychological profiles
https://applymagicsauce.com/demo

NYT article laying down the challenge to the programming community to develop an algorithm that can win at the game of Go
https://www.nytimes.com/1997/07/29/science/to-test-a-powerful-computer-play-an-ancient-game.html

Spurious Correlations - Website with outlandish data correlations https://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations

This Person Does Not Exist - AI generated faces
https://www.thispersondoesnotexist.com

GPT-3 Language Generator - A robot wrote this entire article. Are you scared yet, human?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/08/robot-wrote-this-article-gpt-3

A.I. Dungeon - A.I Powered ‘choose your own adventure’ story generator
https://play.aidungeon.io

The Great Hack - Documentary Trailer all about the Cambridge Analytica Scandal
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iX8GxLP1FHo

FURTHER READING

These three articles we feel are digestible content to keep on learning more in this area:
https://www.wired.com/tag/data-privacy
https://www.technologyreview.com/topic/tech-policy
https://news.ycombinator.com

RECOMMENDED MOVIES AND DOCUMENTARIES

https://blog.decoded.com/watch-learn-decodeds-list-of-lockdown-movies-9d3a36db14

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

The Master Algorithm by Pedro Domingos
https://www.amazon.com/Master-Algorithm-Ultimate-Learning-Machine-ebook/dp/B012271YB2

Data-ism by Steve Lohr
https://www.amazon.com/Data-ism-Revolution-Transforming-Decision-Everything/dp/1481533797

Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O’Neill
https://www.amazon.com/Weapons-Math-Destruction-Increases-Inequality/dp/0553418815

Prediction Machines by Agrawal, Gans & Goldfarb
https://www.amazon.com/Prediction-Machines-Economics-Artificial-Intelligence/dp/1633695670/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=prediction+machines&qid=1599850913&s=books&sr=1-3