History
Stephen Karganovic
June 17, 2024
© Photo: Public domain

Artificial intelligence has rightfully become the subject of great controversy, even though it is still early to fully assess its impact.

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George Orwell was spot on when he wrote that “who controls the past controls the future.” The remarkable advances of Artificial Intelligence technology appear to bear him out. But they confirm also the correctness of the rest of his prescient remark, which is cited less often, that “who controls the present controls the past.” That also seems confirmed, as we shall see presently.

Artificial intelligence has rightfully become the subject of great controversy, even though it is still early to fully assess its impact. Yet with each passing day the problematic, and some would even say nefarious, aspects of its uses are becoming increasingly evident.

One of the chief concerns regarding Artificial Intelligence is its pretension to supersede and consign to a state of permanent subservience its human counterpart. Another is the danger it poses to workmen. Their jobs will become largely obsolete and incomes will diminish or disappear once employers discover that the operations human workers were performing for a salary can be done at minimum or no expense by the entity we are becoming accustomed to call Artificial Intelligence, or AI.

Clearly, the uncontrolled spread of AI is taking humanity to uncharted waters. A bizarre illustration is the recent candidacy of an AI entity for mayor of Cheyenne in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Good luck to the good and supposedly conservative people of Cheyenne if they do not have a qualified human candidate amongst them to vote for

. This is just one of the levels where common sense should dictate extreme caution before uncritically engaging some of the potential AI applications. There is however another and more ominous application that is proliferating on the internet. Unlike the previous example, it is not in the least entertaining but should cause alarm and intense unease.

That is the emergence of “deep fakes,” masterful distortions of reality so convincingly executed that even the most advanced forensic tools, let alone the unaided human faculties, would find it nearly impossible to detect the deception.

Within the genus of what has come to be known as deep fakes a specific and sinister class has emerged that is saturating the internet. It does not aim to inflict the usual annoyances such as altering an individual’s appearance, making him do or say things that in real life he never would, or depicting him credibly in a compromising situation for the purpose of discreditation. Instead of generating banal personal fakes, it does something that causes incomparably more harm. It deliberately falsifies the historical record by erasing the distinction between fact and fiction, truth and falsehood. It misleads the uninformed and the gullible by manufacturing events that theoretically could have, but never did happen.

The phony “October 1963” CBS news report about the supposed outbreak of the German civil war is a case in point. Everything about it is impressively realistic but it is false history, a fabrication cut from whole cloth. The underlying message of the “news broadcast” read by legendary CBS announcer Walter Cronkite is that Germany was not defeated in World War II but achieved its major war aims, including control of Europe, substantial conquests in the East, and the restoration of its African colonies. According to this false scenario in World War II it is Russia that was defeated and compelled to withdraw to the east, perhaps to the other side of the Urals since Moscow is mentioned as a district under German rule. After Hitler’s death, presumably of natural causes, a power struggle ensues amongst his lieutenants. The “victorious” Germany is portrayed as a robust nuclear power that even the United States fears to antagonise.

Adding an intriguingly realistic touch to this fabricated scenario, as the leader of Germany Hitler dies in the early 1960s, at roughly the time that he should have died in exile in South America if one of the versions of his escape were to be believed. For the historically challenged, further details about the fictitious 1964 German civil war are provided here.

This writer recalls CBS news broadcasts from the 1960s when Walter Cronkite was at the height of his influence as the “most trusted journalist” in America. In addition to having a solid knowledge of contemporary history, I also recall Cronkite’s appearance and delivery style, as well as the distinct timbre of his voice. In all those respects, this fake video clip is unnervingly realistic. The flaws it and others similar to it might still have will be successfully resolved by further improvements in Artificial Intelligence technology.

But how many 20 year-olds today would be able to recognise the fake, based on their knowledge of historical facts? Or even adults, for that matter? In viewer comments, there are quite a few who admit being impressed by the fake “newscast” and who even claim to remember having watched it when supposedly many decades ago it was originally emitted. But all that is, of course, complete nonsense. It is groupthink false memory. Mass formation is what Belgian psychologist Mattias Desmet calls it. They could not possibly have watched this in the 1960s. The events that Artificial Intelligence makes Cronkite appear to announce never actually took place and he in fact never reported them.

Expanding on the themes established in the previous fake report, the false Cronkite generated by AI reports in another phony “newscast” that defeated Russian forces have rallied back under the leadership of a fictional general and are invading German held territory. Film footage shows the resurgent Russian army of the sinister-sounding “National Reclamation Government,” equipped with nuclear weapons, attempting to occupy territories to the West claimed by Russia. A Russia laid low but regaining its former strength under a revanchist new government and reclaiming its assets to the west – could this be a predictive programming allusion to some current events?

In this instance also the ridiculousness of this fictitious scenario was not immediately recognised by all the viewers. Apparently it again jarred some false memories. A viewer wrote: “I remember where I was when this happened. It was right before I graduated from high school. It was a scary time. Glad it’s over.”

But this is rubbish of course. He could not have remembered it because it never happened.

Germany and Russia are by no means the sole subjects of this rampant fakery. The reach of maliciously recomposed history is sweeping and it ruthlessly distorts and falsifies everything in its path. Here Field Marshal Montgomery is poignantly announcing the surrender of the Allied Powers to the Axis at the end of World War II, President Reagan is dissolving the United States, and even the Italo-Turkish war is featured in these historical travesties.

To dismiss such realistic falsifications of the historical record as harmless entertainment would be a grave mistake. It is an attack on the integrity of the human mind. This brutal recomposition of the past serves to reconfigure the awareness and to reorient the perceptions of those living in the present.

The ranks of the older generation, who might be capable of detecting these falsehoods either from direct experience or with the help of the solid education that they were fortunate to receive, are thinning rapidly. Traditional mechanisms of cultural transmission to the successor generation are effectively blocked. Few resources are at hand today to counterbalance the vacuity and intellectual impotence of the manipulable progeny, raised purposefully to be uneducated, ignorant, and dangerously vulnerable to this or any other rubbish to which they happen to be exposed.

Would any of these pathetically lost young people, whose natural milieu are not books but video games and iPhones, ever manage to marshal the necessary facts and arguments to detect and counter the lies, including history crudely rewritten, that the unseen masters of Artificial Intelligence have decided to distract and enslave them with?

On controlling the past…

Artificial intelligence has rightfully become the subject of great controversy, even though it is still early to fully assess its impact.

❗️Join us on TelegramTwitter , and VK.

Contact us: info@strategic-culture.su

George Orwell was spot on when he wrote that “who controls the past controls the future.” The remarkable advances of Artificial Intelligence technology appear to bear him out. But they confirm also the correctness of the rest of his prescient remark, which is cited less often, that “who controls the present controls the past.” That also seems confirmed, as we shall see presently.

Artificial intelligence has rightfully become the subject of great controversy, even though it is still early to fully assess its impact. Yet with each passing day the problematic, and some would even say nefarious, aspects of its uses are becoming increasingly evident.

One of the chief concerns regarding Artificial Intelligence is its pretension to supersede and consign to a state of permanent subservience its human counterpart. Another is the danger it poses to workmen. Their jobs will become largely obsolete and incomes will diminish or disappear once employers discover that the operations human workers were performing for a salary can be done at minimum or no expense by the entity we are becoming accustomed to call Artificial Intelligence, or AI.

Clearly, the uncontrolled spread of AI is taking humanity to uncharted waters. A bizarre illustration is the recent candidacy of an AI entity for mayor of Cheyenne in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Good luck to the good and supposedly conservative people of Cheyenne if they do not have a qualified human candidate amongst them to vote for

. This is just one of the levels where common sense should dictate extreme caution before uncritically engaging some of the potential AI applications. There is however another and more ominous application that is proliferating on the internet. Unlike the previous example, it is not in the least entertaining but should cause alarm and intense unease.

That is the emergence of “deep fakes,” masterful distortions of reality so convincingly executed that even the most advanced forensic tools, let alone the unaided human faculties, would find it nearly impossible to detect the deception.

Within the genus of what has come to be known as deep fakes a specific and sinister class has emerged that is saturating the internet. It does not aim to inflict the usual annoyances such as altering an individual’s appearance, making him do or say things that in real life he never would, or depicting him credibly in a compromising situation for the purpose of discreditation. Instead of generating banal personal fakes, it does something that causes incomparably more harm. It deliberately falsifies the historical record by erasing the distinction between fact and fiction, truth and falsehood. It misleads the uninformed and the gullible by manufacturing events that theoretically could have, but never did happen.

The phony “October 1963” CBS news report about the supposed outbreak of the German civil war is a case in point. Everything about it is impressively realistic but it is false history, a fabrication cut from whole cloth. The underlying message of the “news broadcast” read by legendary CBS announcer Walter Cronkite is that Germany was not defeated in World War II but achieved its major war aims, including control of Europe, substantial conquests in the East, and the restoration of its African colonies. According to this false scenario in World War II it is Russia that was defeated and compelled to withdraw to the east, perhaps to the other side of the Urals since Moscow is mentioned as a district under German rule. After Hitler’s death, presumably of natural causes, a power struggle ensues amongst his lieutenants. The “victorious” Germany is portrayed as a robust nuclear power that even the United States fears to antagonise.

Adding an intriguingly realistic touch to this fabricated scenario, as the leader of Germany Hitler dies in the early 1960s, at roughly the time that he should have died in exile in South America if one of the versions of his escape were to be believed. For the historically challenged, further details about the fictitious 1964 German civil war are provided here.

This writer recalls CBS news broadcasts from the 1960s when Walter Cronkite was at the height of his influence as the “most trusted journalist” in America. In addition to having a solid knowledge of contemporary history, I also recall Cronkite’s appearance and delivery style, as well as the distinct timbre of his voice. In all those respects, this fake video clip is unnervingly realistic. The flaws it and others similar to it might still have will be successfully resolved by further improvements in Artificial Intelligence technology.

But how many 20 year-olds today would be able to recognise the fake, based on their knowledge of historical facts? Or even adults, for that matter? In viewer comments, there are quite a few who admit being impressed by the fake “newscast” and who even claim to remember having watched it when supposedly many decades ago it was originally emitted. But all that is, of course, complete nonsense. It is groupthink false memory. Mass formation is what Belgian psychologist Mattias Desmet calls it. They could not possibly have watched this in the 1960s. The events that Artificial Intelligence makes Cronkite appear to announce never actually took place and he in fact never reported them.

Expanding on the themes established in the previous fake report, the false Cronkite generated by AI reports in another phony “newscast” that defeated Russian forces have rallied back under the leadership of a fictional general and are invading German held territory. Film footage shows the resurgent Russian army of the sinister-sounding “National Reclamation Government,” equipped with nuclear weapons, attempting to occupy territories to the West claimed by Russia. A Russia laid low but regaining its former strength under a revanchist new government and reclaiming its assets to the west – could this be a predictive programming allusion to some current events?

In this instance also the ridiculousness of this fictitious scenario was not immediately recognised by all the viewers. Apparently it again jarred some false memories. A viewer wrote: “I remember where I was when this happened. It was right before I graduated from high school. It was a scary time. Glad it’s over.”

But this is rubbish of course. He could not have remembered it because it never happened.

Germany and Russia are by no means the sole subjects of this rampant fakery. The reach of maliciously recomposed history is sweeping and it ruthlessly distorts and falsifies everything in its path. Here Field Marshal Montgomery is poignantly announcing the surrender of the Allied Powers to the Axis at the end of World War II, President Reagan is dissolving the United States, and even the Italo-Turkish war is featured in these historical travesties.

To dismiss such realistic falsifications of the historical record as harmless entertainment would be a grave mistake. It is an attack on the integrity of the human mind. This brutal recomposition of the past serves to reconfigure the awareness and to reorient the perceptions of those living in the present.

The ranks of the older generation, who might be capable of detecting these falsehoods either from direct experience or with the help of the solid education that they were fortunate to receive, are thinning rapidly. Traditional mechanisms of cultural transmission to the successor generation are effectively blocked. Few resources are at hand today to counterbalance the vacuity and intellectual impotence of the manipulable progeny, raised purposefully to be uneducated, ignorant, and dangerously vulnerable to this or any other rubbish to which they happen to be exposed.

Would any of these pathetically lost young people, whose natural milieu are not books but video games and iPhones, ever manage to marshal the necessary facts and arguments to detect and counter the lies, including history crudely rewritten, that the unseen masters of Artificial Intelligence have decided to distract and enslave them with?

Artificial intelligence has rightfully become the subject of great controversy, even though it is still early to fully assess its impact.

❗️Join us on TelegramTwitter , and VK.

Contact us: info@strategic-culture.su

George Orwell was spot on when he wrote that “who controls the past controls the future.” The remarkable advances of Artificial Intelligence technology appear to bear him out. But they confirm also the correctness of the rest of his prescient remark, which is cited less often, that “who controls the present controls the past.” That also seems confirmed, as we shall see presently.

Artificial intelligence has rightfully become the subject of great controversy, even though it is still early to fully assess its impact. Yet with each passing day the problematic, and some would even say nefarious, aspects of its uses are becoming increasingly evident.

One of the chief concerns regarding Artificial Intelligence is its pretension to supersede and consign to a state of permanent subservience its human counterpart. Another is the danger it poses to workmen. Their jobs will become largely obsolete and incomes will diminish or disappear once employers discover that the operations human workers were performing for a salary can be done at minimum or no expense by the entity we are becoming accustomed to call Artificial Intelligence, or AI.

Clearly, the uncontrolled spread of AI is taking humanity to uncharted waters. A bizarre illustration is the recent candidacy of an AI entity for mayor of Cheyenne in the U.S. state of Wyoming. Good luck to the good and supposedly conservative people of Cheyenne if they do not have a qualified human candidate amongst them to vote for

. This is just one of the levels where common sense should dictate extreme caution before uncritically engaging some of the potential AI applications. There is however another and more ominous application that is proliferating on the internet. Unlike the previous example, it is not in the least entertaining but should cause alarm and intense unease.

That is the emergence of “deep fakes,” masterful distortions of reality so convincingly executed that even the most advanced forensic tools, let alone the unaided human faculties, would find it nearly impossible to detect the deception.

Within the genus of what has come to be known as deep fakes a specific and sinister class has emerged that is saturating the internet. It does not aim to inflict the usual annoyances such as altering an individual’s appearance, making him do or say things that in real life he never would, or depicting him credibly in a compromising situation for the purpose of discreditation. Instead of generating banal personal fakes, it does something that causes incomparably more harm. It deliberately falsifies the historical record by erasing the distinction between fact and fiction, truth and falsehood. It misleads the uninformed and the gullible by manufacturing events that theoretically could have, but never did happen.

The phony “October 1963” CBS news report about the supposed outbreak of the German civil war is a case in point. Everything about it is impressively realistic but it is false history, a fabrication cut from whole cloth. The underlying message of the “news broadcast” read by legendary CBS announcer Walter Cronkite is that Germany was not defeated in World War II but achieved its major war aims, including control of Europe, substantial conquests in the East, and the restoration of its African colonies. According to this false scenario in World War II it is Russia that was defeated and compelled to withdraw to the east, perhaps to the other side of the Urals since Moscow is mentioned as a district under German rule. After Hitler’s death, presumably of natural causes, a power struggle ensues amongst his lieutenants. The “victorious” Germany is portrayed as a robust nuclear power that even the United States fears to antagonise.

Adding an intriguingly realistic touch to this fabricated scenario, as the leader of Germany Hitler dies in the early 1960s, at roughly the time that he should have died in exile in South America if one of the versions of his escape were to be believed. For the historically challenged, further details about the fictitious 1964 German civil war are provided here.

This writer recalls CBS news broadcasts from the 1960s when Walter Cronkite was at the height of his influence as the “most trusted journalist” in America. In addition to having a solid knowledge of contemporary history, I also recall Cronkite’s appearance and delivery style, as well as the distinct timbre of his voice. In all those respects, this fake video clip is unnervingly realistic. The flaws it and others similar to it might still have will be successfully resolved by further improvements in Artificial Intelligence technology.

But how many 20 year-olds today would be able to recognise the fake, based on their knowledge of historical facts? Or even adults, for that matter? In viewer comments, there are quite a few who admit being impressed by the fake “newscast” and who even claim to remember having watched it when supposedly many decades ago it was originally emitted. But all that is, of course, complete nonsense. It is groupthink false memory. Mass formation is what Belgian psychologist Mattias Desmet calls it. They could not possibly have watched this in the 1960s. The events that Artificial Intelligence makes Cronkite appear to announce never actually took place and he in fact never reported them.

Expanding on the themes established in the previous fake report, the false Cronkite generated by AI reports in another phony “newscast” that defeated Russian forces have rallied back under the leadership of a fictional general and are invading German held territory. Film footage shows the resurgent Russian army of the sinister-sounding “National Reclamation Government,” equipped with nuclear weapons, attempting to occupy territories to the West claimed by Russia. A Russia laid low but regaining its former strength under a revanchist new government and reclaiming its assets to the west – could this be a predictive programming allusion to some current events?

In this instance also the ridiculousness of this fictitious scenario was not immediately recognised by all the viewers. Apparently it again jarred some false memories. A viewer wrote: “I remember where I was when this happened. It was right before I graduated from high school. It was a scary time. Glad it’s over.”

But this is rubbish of course. He could not have remembered it because it never happened.

Germany and Russia are by no means the sole subjects of this rampant fakery. The reach of maliciously recomposed history is sweeping and it ruthlessly distorts and falsifies everything in its path. Here Field Marshal Montgomery is poignantly announcing the surrender of the Allied Powers to the Axis at the end of World War II, President Reagan is dissolving the United States, and even the Italo-Turkish war is featured in these historical travesties.

To dismiss such realistic falsifications of the historical record as harmless entertainment would be a grave mistake. It is an attack on the integrity of the human mind. This brutal recomposition of the past serves to reconfigure the awareness and to reorient the perceptions of those living in the present.

The ranks of the older generation, who might be capable of detecting these falsehoods either from direct experience or with the help of the solid education that they were fortunate to receive, are thinning rapidly. Traditional mechanisms of cultural transmission to the successor generation are effectively blocked. Few resources are at hand today to counterbalance the vacuity and intellectual impotence of the manipulable progeny, raised purposefully to be uneducated, ignorant, and dangerously vulnerable to this or any other rubbish to which they happen to be exposed.

Would any of these pathetically lost young people, whose natural milieu are not books but video games and iPhones, ever manage to marshal the necessary facts and arguments to detect and counter the lies, including history crudely rewritten, that the unseen masters of Artificial Intelligence have decided to distract and enslave them with?

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.

See also

The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.