Tech Giants-Funded Project OpenAI Provides Unlimited Capabilities for Election Meddling
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Tech Giants-Funded Project OpenAI Provides Unlimited Capabilities for Election Meddling


USA – March 2, 2019

On February 14, Project OpenAI announced that they’ve trained a large-scale unsupervised language model which generates coherent paragraphs of text, achieves state-of-the-art performance on many language modeling benchmarks, and performs rudimentary reading comprehension, machine translation, question answering, and summarization — all without task-specific training.

OpenAI’s new model GPT-2 is a large transformer-based language model with 1.5 billion parameters, trained on a dataset of 8 million web pages. GPT2 is considered groundbreaking both in terms of the amount of output it is capable of producing and the authentic look of the finished product. The data models “were 12 times bigger, and the dataset was 15 times bigger and much broader” than the previous state-of-the-art AI model, Dario Amodei, OpenAI’s research director, told reporters. It was trained on a dataset containing about 10 million articles, selected by trawling the social news site Reddit for links with more than three votes. The vast collection of text weighed in at 40 GB, enough to store about 35,000 copies of Moby Dick. Spam and fake news are just two obvious potential downsides, as is the AI’s unfiltered nature. As it is trained on the internet, it is not hard to encourage it to generate bigoted text, conspiracy theories, so-called “deepfake” news articles and so on, the Guardian notes.

The AI system is fed text, anything from a few words to a whole page, and asked to write the next few sentences based on its predictions of what should come next. The system is pushing the boundaries of what was thought possible, both in terms of the quality of the output, and the wide variety of potential uses. In their research work, OpenAI used thousands to tens of thousands of Microsoft’s Azure project machines to increase both the number of experiments and the size of the models they trained.

The Tesla CEO founded OpenAI in 2015 along with fellow tech titans Reid Hoffman, Peter Thiel, and Sam Altman with an aim “to ensure AI benefits all of humanity.” Although Elon Musk left the OpenAI board last year, he continues to donate and advise the organization.

Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, and Holden Karnofsky are all on OpenAI’s Board.

Holden Karnofsky is also one of the three managing directors of the Open Philanthropy Project (Open Phil). Open Phil is tasked with giving away the bulk of Facebook’s co-founder Dustin Moskovitz's multi-billion dollar wealth. As of February 2017, it has made publicly disclosed grants totaling about $87 million, excluding GiveWell-recommended grants. One of these grants ($10 million per year for 3 years, starting from 2017) went to OpenAI.

Among other donors to OpenAI are co-founder of Stellar network Jed McCaleb, co-founder of the video game development and digital distribution company Valve Corporation Gabe Newell, former finance director for a US Senate campaign and CEO of the YC accelerator program Michael Seibel, founding engineer of Skype and Kazaa Jaan Tallinn, and former US athletes Ashton Eaton and Brianne Theisen-Eaton.

Other donors are the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn Reid Hoffman, Jessica Livingston, and Peter Thiel. In total, these funders have committed $1 billion. In February 2018, Reid Hoffman significantly increased his financial contributions to the artificial intelligence research group.

Reid Hoffman is also funding other groups, namely New Knowledge (NK) and American Engagement Technologies (AET). In 2018, New Knowledge got caught by the New York Times fabricating thousands of fictitious Russian troll accounts on Facebook and Twitter on behalf of the Democratic Party in the Alabama Senate race in 2017 to manufacture false accusations that the Kremlin was interfering in that election working to defeat Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones. The effort was collectively known as “Project Birmingham.” This massive scam was created in order to undermine support for Republican Roy Moore’s senatorial campaign and boosted his opponent Jones, who narrowly won the race. Jones became the first Alabama Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter of a century, defeating Moore by 21,924 votes in a race that drew more than 22,800 write-in votes. More than 1.3 million ballots were cast over all.

There is evidence the campaign caused a splash. Major media outlets — both in Alabama and nationally — fell for the gambit and amplified the false narrative in October 2017.

Later New Knowledge released a report boasting of its fabrications: “We orchestrated an elaborate ‘false flag’ operation that planted the idea that the [Roy] Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet.”

"Well, I have no doubt it was stolen," Moore said at the time. "I have no doubt this influenced the campaign. And to say it didn't would contradict even the report that came out on Project Birmingham. It's no coincidence this Project Birmingham originated as early as September 2017 before the false allegations came up. I think it was all a plan. I think it was all a plot."

That fraud was overseen by New Knowledge’s CEO, Jonathon Morgan. Morgan’s firm is behind one of the recent Senate reports on phony Russian social media election interference, as well as the creation of Hamilton 68, the pseudo-data-driven dashboard constantly used by U.S. media outlets to claim that its enemies are supported by the Kremlin.

Director of Research at New Knowledge is Renée DiResta, who is also a Mozilla Fellow in Media, Misinformation, and Trust. According to her website, she investigates the spread of malignant narratives across social networks, and assists policymakers in understanding and responding to the problem. She has advised Congress, the State Department, and other academic, civic, and business organizations, and has studied disinformation and computational propaganda in the context of pseudoscience conspiracies, terrorism, and state-sponsored information warfare. In December 2018, DiResta published a piece “What We Now Know About Russian Disinformation.” Her similar “disinformation research” has been featured or covered by numerous MSM outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Fast Company, Politico, TechCrunch, Wired, Slate, Forbes, Buzzfeed, the Economist, Journal of Commerce, and more. She is a 2019 Truman National Security Project security fellow and a Council on Foreign Relations term member.

Hoffman spent roughly $100,000 on faking Russian interference. It's not just a coincidence - that’s the same amount Facebook says the so-called Internet Research Agency spent on the “election meddling”.

The money from Hoffman passed through American Engagement Technologies, another business involved in the Project Birmingham troll factory run by Mikey Dickerson. He is the founding director of the United States Digital Service, which was created during the Obama administration to try to upgrade the federal government’s use of technology.

The effort was the subject of a closed-door presentation in Washington, D.C., to a group of liberal technology experts, with Hoffman at the forefront, The Washington Post reported in December 2018, citing anonymous sources. The well-heeled tech titan was left reeling after former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s loss in 2016, so he went on to become one of the biggest funders of efforts to elect Democrats in 2018.

Much of that money went to New Knowledge, but some of that cash went into the coffers of MotiveAI, a group responsible for creating digital outlet News for Democracy, which itself created Facebook ads during the midterms designed to undercut support for conservative candidates.

News for Democracy ran ads touting failed Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke of Texas on a Facebook page targeting evangelicals, media reports note. Another page called Sounds Like Tennessee ran at least one ad attacking since-elected Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee. The latter page focused primarily on sports and other local issues.

A close collaborator of Hoffman, Dmitri Mehlhorn, the founder of Investing in Us, said in a statement that “our purpose in investing in politics and civic engagement is to strengthen American democracy.”

Lawmakers sounded alarms in January about so-called deepfake videos that look remarkably real, with some experts warning they will be the next phase in disinformation campaigns. They worry that this new type of AI can make it difficult for readers and social media users to distinguish fact from fiction, the Daily Caller wrote.

New Knowledge is constantly planting new fakes about “Russian interference.” Thus, on February 2, 2019 NBC News published a story, claiming that “experts who track websites and social media linked to Russia have seen stirrings of a possible campaign of support for Hawaii Democrat Tulsi Gabbard.” To justify its claim that Gabbard is the Kremlin’s candidate, NBC stated, “analysts at New Knowledge, the company the Senate Intelligence Committee used to track Russian activities in the 2016 election, told NBC News they’ve spotted ‘chatter’ related to Gabbard in anonymous online message boards, including those known for fomenting right-wing troll campaigns.”

The only other so-called expert cited by NBC in support of its claim that Russian accounts are supporting Gabbard is someone NBC identified as “Josh Russell.” He is touted by NBC as “a researcher and ‘troll hunter’ known for identifying fake accounts.” In reality, Russell is someone CNN last year touted as an “Indiana dad” and “amateur troll hunter” with a full-time job unrelated to Russia (he works as programmer at a college) and whose “hobby” is tracing online Russian accounts.

In any event, to smear Gabbard as a “Kremlin favorite,” NBC News relied on a group that it heralded as “experts” without telling its audience about the major fraud which this firm just got caught perpetrating in order to, on behalf of the Democratic Party, fabricate claims of Russian interference in the Alabama Senate race.

However as USA Really wrote in January 2019, Tulsi Gabbard is not anti-establishment and her political career is proof of it. It doesn't matter what the candidate says going into the 2020 election; her present rhetoric is categorically irrelevant. Where she is now was only made possible by the pro-war, pro-establishment, pro-corporate positions that brought her to the very moment in January 2019 when she announced her bid for president.

It’s evident that OpenAI, with its almighty GPT-2 technology, as well as other Microsoft, Facebook, and Alphabet–supported New Knowledge, American Engagement Technologies, MotiveAI, News for Democracy, Investing in Us, Red to Blue California, Campaign for Accountability, fake “Russian Trolls” websites like USAIRA and hundreds of other U.S. Troll farms (bot or human) together with mainstream media are responsible for all that election meddling by boosting up their candidates, spreading fake news, bigotry and racism in social media. No wonder that instead of investigating these obvious facts of election interference, the U.S. regime ordered US Cyber Command to launch a cyber attack against Russian media outlets and USA Really’s servers.

Author: USA Really