Weaponized Tweets: AI Could Help Defend Against Adversary Attacks in Social Media – War on the Rocks

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This article was submitted to War on the Rocks in response to the call for ideas issued by the co-chairs of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, Eric Schmidt and Robert Work. It addresses the first question, which asks authors to a) consider how AI will impact strategic rivalry, including competition below the threshold of armed conflict, and b) discuss what has already happened when the United States failed to develop robust AI capabilities to address a national security issue.
Social media is the new battleground for information warfare — and artificial intelligence provides weapons and shields in this fight. This is a story of how artificial intelligence could have helped defend America against adversarial attacks on Twitter in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, allowing a human intelligence analyst to easily track changes in the adversary’s online tactics over time.

The Russian-backed Internet Research Agency was tweeting as early as 2012. Initially, these state-sponsored Russian trolls focused their attacks on domestic Russian issues, only later turning to foreign topics such as Ukraine, Syria, and eventually the United States. The United States did not respond until after its presidential election in November 2016, when the U.S. Department of Justice indicted …

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