The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast

14. The Next Iteration of Warfare with Lisa Kaplan

The Convergence - An Army Mad Scientist Podcast
14. The Next Iteration of Warfare with Lisa Kaplan
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In this latest episode of “The Convergence,” we talk with Lisa Kaplan, who founded Alethea Group to help organizations navigate the new digital reality and protect themselves against disinformation. Ms. Kaplan served as digital director for Senator Angus King’s 2018 campaign, where she designed and executed a strategy to identify, understand, and respond to disinformation. She is one of the few people who has firsthand experience combating disinformation on the campaign trail. Ms. Kaplan has also briefed US, NATO, EU, and G-7 policy makers and officials on disinformation. Previously, she consulted with PwC for the U.S. State Department, and served as a U.S. Senate aide.

In this episode, we talk with Ms. Kaplan about weaponized information as a national security problem, algorithmic silos created by social media, and disinformation as the next iteration of warfare. Some of the highlights from our interview include the following:

  • Disinformation is a national security problem manifesting itself in politics. Open source information can be leveraged to create effective digital strategies to counter this rapidly-proliferating threat.
  • Social media algorithms create algorithmic silos: personal echo chambers that create individual realities for users. This method of platform retention is creating more polarized information spaces. Algorithms will continue to get stronger over time, increasing the impact of this problem.
  • Disinformation will become the next iteration of warfare, as it is comparatively inexpensive and easy to use. Bad actors can leverage algorithmic silos to target their disinformation to vulnerable populations. As a result, the government should identify vulnerable populations and develop support plans.
  • The proliferation of fringe and conspiracy media outlets will make it difficult to know which information to trust. We should begin examining the long term impacts for children growing up in this environment, particularly in relation to their feelings towards U.S. competitors.
  • We are all targets of disinformation, so we can all combat it. Thinking before you share, reading critically, searching for the right sources/authors, and avoiding sensationalized media can reduce the impact of disinformation. Remember, you are likely a trusted source to those around you.
  • Conversations about disinformation trends are an important part of combating this threat. The U.S. Government has unmatched capacity to address disinformation, but needs to work towards legislation that will allow it to act in this space.

 Stay tuned to the Mad Scientist Laboratory for our next podcast with LTC Arnel David, U.S. Army, and Maj Aaron Moore, British Army, as they discuss Fight Club, the current revolution in Professional Military Education, and the role of Artificial Intelligence in future military operations on 23 July 2020!


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