Why Are Deepfakes So Effective? It’s because we often want them to be true

Developing deep fake detection technology is important, but it’s only part of the solution. It is the human factor—weaknesses in our human psychology—not their technical sophistication that make deep fakes so effective. New research hints at how foundational the problem is.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/why-are-deepfakes-so-effective/

The biggest threat of deepfakes isn’t the deepfakes themselves

“Deepfakes do pose a risk to politics in terms of fake media appearing to be real, but right now the more tangible threat is how the idea of deepfakes can be invoked to make the real appear fake,” says Henry Ajder, one of the authors of the report. “The hype and rather sensational coverage speculating on deepfakes’ political impact has overshadowed the real cases where deepfakes have had an impact.”

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614526/the-biggest-threat-of-deepfakes-isnt-the-deepfakes-themselves/?utm_source=newsletters&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_download.unpaid.engagement

The Cognitive Bias President Trump Understands Better Than You

“AMERICANS BORN IN the United States are more murderous than undocumented immigrants. Fighting words, I know. But why? After all, that’s just what the numbers say.

“Still, be honest: you wouldn’t linger over a story with that headline. It’s “dog bites man.” It’s the norm. And norms aren’t news. Instead, you’ll see two dozen reporters flock to a single burning trash can during an Inauguration protest. The aberrant occurrence is the story you’ll read and the picture you’ll see. It’s news because it’s new.

“https://www.wired.com/2017/02/cognitive-bias-president-trump-understands-better/

SCIENTISTS: EARTH ENDANGERED BY NEW STRAIN OF FACT-RESISTANT HUMANS

“While scientists have no clear understanding of the mechanisms that prevent the fact-resistant humans from absorbing data, they theorize that the strain may have developed the ability to intercept and discard information en route from the auditory nerve to the brain. “The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said.”

http://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/scientists-earth-endangered-by-new-strain-of-fact-resistant-humans

Can We Think Critically Anymore?

“The Internet might very well have been designed for confirmation bias. If you have a theory, you’ll find some site purporting it to be true. (I’m constantly amazed at how many people post Natural News stories on my feed, as if anything on the site is valid.) Levitin notes that MartinLutherKing.org is run by a white supremacist group. Even experts get fooled: Reporter Jonathan Capehart published a Washington Post article “based on a tweet by a nonexistent congressman in a nonexistent district.””

http://bigthink.com/21st-century-spirituality/can-we-think-critically-anymore?mc_cid=38a162efbc&mc_eid=34e2887073

Why News Junkies Are So Glum About Politics, Economics, and Everything Else Stock-market crashes, terrorist attacks, and the dark side of “newsworthy” stories

“The rule is straightforward, but its implications are subtle. If journalists are encouraged to report extreme events, they guide both elite and public attitudes, leading many people, including experts, to feel like extreme events are more common than they actually are. By reporting on only the radically novel, the press can feed a popular illusion that the world is more terrible than it actually is.”

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/07/why-news-junkies-get-are-so-glum-about-politics-economics-and-everything-else/492989/?mc_cid=374abf3cdb&mc_eid=34e2887073

Implicit bias and the NFL draft Teams don’t recognize how unconscious attitudes about race affect which players they select

“Even in an industry where minority workers sometimes appear to be favored for highly desirable jobs,” the two concluded, “employers may still fall prey to symbolic discrimination, relying on deeply embedded stereotypes about minority groups during the interview process.”

Why People Oppose GMOs Even Though Science Says They Are Safe

“Intuition can encourage opinions that are contrary to the facts.”

“By tapping into intuitions and emotions that mostly work under the radar of conscious awareness, but are constituent of any normally functioning human mind, such representations become easy to think. They capture our attention, they are easily processed and remembered and thus stand a greater chance of being transmitted and becoming popular, even if they are untrue. Thus, many people oppose GMOs, in part, because it just makes sense that they would pose a threat.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-people-oppose-gmos-even-though-science-says-they-are-safe/

Strongest opponents of GM foods know the least but think they know the most

“The extremists are more poorly calibrated. If you don’t know much, it’s hard to assess how much you know,” Fernbach added. “The feeling of understanding that they have then stops them from learning the truth. Extremism can be perverse in that way.”

The finding has echoes of the Dunning-Kruger effect, the observation from social psychology that incompetence prevents the incompetent from recognising their incompetence.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jan/14/gm-foods-scientific-ignorance-fuels-extremist-views-study

How social media can distort and misinform when communicating science

Interesting article about how we acquire and spread information. How we close ourselves off to voices we disagree with and how the frequency with which information is shared is not necessarily validation of its truthfulness.

“The problem is that social media is also a great way to spread misinformation, too. Millions of Americans shape their ideas on complex and controversial scientific questions – things like personal genetic testing, genetically modified foods and their use of antibiotics – based on what they see on social media. Even many traditional news organizations and media outlets report incomplete aspects of scientific studies, or misinterpret the findings and highlight unusual claims. Once these items enter into the social media echo chamber, they’re amplified. The facts become lost in the shuffle of competing information, limited attention or both.”

https://theconversation.com/how-social-media-can-distort-and-misinform-when-communicating-science-59044?mc_cid=6e8e6bd94e&mc_eid=34e2887073

The Science of Why Cops Shoot Young Black Men And how to reform our bigoted brains.

We’re not born with racial prejudices. We may never even have been “taught” them. Rather, explains Nosek, prejudice draws on “many of the same tools that help our minds figure out what’s good and what’s bad.” In evolutionary terms, it’s efficient to quickly classify a grizzly bear as “dangerous.” The trouble comes when the brain uses similar processes to form negative views about groups of people.

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/11/science-of-racism-prejudice