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### Provoking Self-Reflection: Chelsea Manning on Artificial Intelligence’s Impact on Personal Identity

Manning highlighted the clash between humans and technology at Lisbon’s Web Summit, questioni…

At the monthly Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, artificial intelligence once again took center stage in discussions. Chelsea Manning, a journalist and activist, expressed concerns about the progress of artificial intelligence and the potential conflicts between humans and technology on the event’s final day.

Manning stated, “We are currently immersed in a technological era that significantly influences our modes of communication and organizational structures. I have witnessed numerous instances highlighting the clash between individuals and automated systems.”

Reflecting on her personal journey, Manning shared how her experiences of poverty, military service, and incarceration for leaking military documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 have shaped her perspective on technology and the vision for a more inclusive future.

According to Manning, “These experiences have profoundly influenced my approach to connecting with others, conceptualizing technology, and envisioning a more inclusive future.”

Questioning the rapid advancement of AI technologies, Manning pondered on who stands to benefit from these advancements and whether the pursuit of artificial intelligence truly enhances our daily lives.

“Are we neglecting the human element in favor of transforming every daily interaction into a commodity?” Manning questioned. “From utilizing software to simply clicking a ‘like’ button, are we losing touch with genuine human connections?”

Manning referenced platforms like Wikipedia, books, videos, and images, labeling artificial intelligence and large language models as the trending topics of the day. She underscored the vast amount of data these models rely on for training.

In contrast to the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and privacy rights allowing data deletion requests, Manning highlighted that data in AI models becomes ingrained within the model’s structure rather than being easily removable.

Manning emphasized the importance of developing tools as technologists that prioritize privacy and resist the commodification of communication. She stressed the significance of preserving the value of relationships beyond mere numerical metrics.

Warning about the integration of personal data into significant language models, Manning noted the challenges of removing such information once incorporated into the model.

Transitioning to her role at Nym Technologies in Switzerland as a security expert and privacy advocate in 2021, Manning discussed the unveiling of the privacy-centric distributed personality platform project on the Cosmos blockchain in 2020.

Manning expressed her belief in the critical need for maintaining privacy through intuitive encryption methods. She advocated for user-friendly privacy tools that seamlessly integrate into daily interactions.

Addressing the rise of deepfakes generated by AI, Manning highlighted the potential dangers of these manipulated media forms in distorting reality and eroding trust in verified information.

Manning raised concerns about the impact of sophisticated deepfakes on elections and online discourse, proposing encryption as a tool to verify information authenticity.

Recently, Manning shared with Decrypt her passion for cryptography, information security, and the development of decentralized blockchain networks sparked by Bitcoin.

Reflecting on the allure of creating personalized realities, Manning cautioned against disregarding the tangible consequences that reality poses, particularly in the context of pressing global issues like climate change.

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Last modified: February 11, 2024
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