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Our minds will soon be at their mercy

Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks at the Google I/O conference. Google put the spotlight on its artificial intelligence smarts at its annual developers conference, where it announced new features and services imbued with machine learning. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Google this week introduced some amazing new intelligent technology. The app getting the most attention can make a phone call all on its own in a human voice without the human on the other end ever realizing it’s a machine.

Another Google app can write email responses in your style, all on its own.

The intention is that these amazing advances will only be used for good and noble purposes. But did you see the Russian Facebook ads just released by the House Intelligence committee? There were thousands designed to appeal to categories such as “People Who Love Texas,” or “Black Lives Matter.”

Nick Thompson at Wired.com went through them.

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“But the problem is that even as our defenses get better, the attackers are gonna find new methods and become more sophisticated too.”

Which implies our minds will be at their mercy.

But the only way that can work is if Americans somehow accept that social media is real. That the opinions of people they’ve never met are sincere because, hey, a real person shared them with me!

A real person? Maybe.

Let me just say if the day comes when you hear my voice skipping, unplug EVERYTHING.

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