Political Technology
166 views | +0 today
Follow
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Take Action

Take Action | Political Technology | Scoop.it

Resistance Dashboard is a visual advocacy platform that serves to bring focus to the fights ahead. It seeks to become a comprehensive clearinghouse for information about which policies and institutions are under what degree of attack. We aim to bring together in one well-designed dashboard the leading organizations and entrepreneurs in the fight, along with the many new technological tools, calls to action, suggestions for donations, and events that are taking place through this surge in political innovation. Our platform aims to help those who want to resist find ways to be more informed and more effective.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

The most comprehensive site on the web for progressive political technology and action organizations

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

The Mind-Benders: How To Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, And Swing Elections

The Mind-Benders: How To Harvest Facebook Data, Brainwash Voters, And Swing Elections | Political Technology | Scoop.it

"In July 2005, SCL underwent a dramatic transformation. It very publicly rebranded itself as a  psychological warfare company by taking part in the UK’s largest military trade show. SCL’s exhibit included a mock operations center featuring dramatic crisis scenarios–a smallpox outbreak in London, a bloody insurgency in a fictitious South Asian country–which were then resolved with the help of the company’s psyops techniques."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

A deeper dive about cambridge analytica's techniques.

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Lorien Pratt from Decision Intelligence News
Scoop.it!

Gigaom | Voices in AI – Episode 35: A Conversation with Lorien Pratt

Gigaom | Voices in AI – Episode 35: A Conversation with Lorien Pratt | Political Technology | Scoop.it

"...what hasn’t happened is the widespread democratization of AI. Bill Gates said, we’re going to have a computer on every desk.” I also think that Granny, who now uses a computer, will also be building little machine learners within a few years from now. And so when I talk about personalized medicine or I talk about a city doing climate change, those are all, kind of, that general umbrella—it’s not going to be just limited to the technologists. It’s a technology that’s going through this democratization cycle, where it becomes available and accessible in a much more widespread way to solve really difficult problems."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

DI and AI are important technologies for the future of political technology. 

more...
Lorien Pratt's curator insight, March 20, 7:02 PM

The past, present, and future of AI, seen through the lens of a working practitioner.

Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Can AI Win the War Against Fake News?

Can AI Win the War Against Fake News? | Political Technology | Scoop.it
"AdVerif.ai isn’t the only startup that sees an opportunity in providing an AI-powered truth serum for online companies. Cybersecurity firms in particular have been quick to add bot- and fake news-spotting operations to their repertoire, pointing out how similar a lot of the methods look to hacking. Facebook is tweaking its algorithms to deemphasize fake news in its newsfeeds, and Google partnered with a fact-checking site—so far with uneven results. The Fake News Challenge, a competition run by volunteers in the AI community, launched at the end of last year with the goal of encouraging the development of tools that could help combat bad-faith reporting."
Lorien Pratt's insight:
The start of the arms race. Remember when viruses and spam were new?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Could Facebook improve democracy through a change to its algorithm?

Could Facebook improve democracy through a change to its algorithm? | Political Technology | Scoop.it
While he doesn’t delve too deeply into this, I can infer that Sunstein’s issue with personalizing information is that detracts from the work of forming the “community in common” necessary for a well-functioning democracy. He goes on to argue three principles of an effective communication environment: serendipity in information retreival, the formation of shared experiences, and the cultivation of discernment to differentiate truth from fiction. Sunstein suggests that Facebook and other social media can change their algorithms to produce more pro-democratic outcomes...
Lorien Pratt's insight:
Could Facebook improve democracy through a change to its algorithm?
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

What Facebook Did to American Democracy

What Facebook Did to American Democracy | Political Technology | Scoop.it
The information systems that people use to process news have been rerouted through Facebook, and in the process, mostly broken and hidden from view. It wasn’t just liberal bias that kept the media from putting everything together. Much of the hundreds of millions of dollars that was spent during the election cycle came in the form of “dark ads.”

The truth is that while many reporters knew some things that were going on on Facebook, no one knew everything that was going on on Facebook, not even Facebook. And so, during the most significant shift in the technology of politics since the television, the first draft of history is filled with undecipherable whorls and empty pages. Meanwhile, the 2018 midterms loom.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

A must-read for anyone interested in the state of the art in political tech, especially in light of this week's indictment, which reads as a case study in the patterns described in this comprehensive article. 

 

But grab a cup of coffee first.  It's a long one.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Fake news is still a problem. Is AI the solution?

Fake news is still a problem. Is AI the solution? | Political Technology | Scoop.it
Experts say AI systems would help fill the gaps left by Snopes, Truth or Fiction, and other online fact-checking outlets, whose human fact-checkers lack the bandwidth to evaluate every article that appears online. These systems could also work with various fake news alert plugins available from Google’s web store, such as the browser extension This is Fake, which uses a red banner to flag debunked news stories on your Facebook newsfeed.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

The answer is "yes". Four additions:

1) This problem is analogous to spam detection, for which AI is improving accuracy over time

2) This will always be an arms race, with fake-news-generators constantly developing new tricks.  For this reason, the AIs will never be perfect

3) For the above reason, we should never expect fake-news AI to be perfect.  Instead, it should sort news into "definitely true", "definitely fake" and "not sure" and include humans in the lop for the last category.

4) As humans label the "not sure" items, and those labels are fed back into a machine learning system, it will get better over time.  So the human tags are part of the "good guy" side of the arms race.

more...
Lorien Pratt's curator insight, February 18, 5:09 PM

The answer is "yes". Four additions:

1) This problem is analogous to spam detection, for which AI is improving accuracy over time

2) This will always be an arms race, with fake-news-generators constantly developing new tricks.  For this reason, the AIs will never be perfect

3) For the above reason, we should never expect fake-news AI to be perfect.  Instead, it should sort news into "definitely true", "definitely fake" and "not sure" and include humans in the lop for the last category.

4) As humans label the "not sure" items, and those labels are fed back into a machine learning system, it will get better over time.  So the human tags are part of the "good guy" side of the arms race.

Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

The Man with a Plan to Upgrade the Democrats

The Man with a Plan to Upgrade the Democrats | Political Technology | Scoop.it
"We need to be starting long-term, authentic conversations today with every American in order to get to the next presidential election in 2020. That means developing a deeper appreciation of the different issues that interest people. I think that artificial intelligence and machine learning will help us ..."
Lorien Pratt's insight:
@raffi is right!
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Talk is cheap: the coming shift from social media to action media – winworks.ai

Talk is cheap: the coming shift from social media to action media – winworks.ai | Political Technology | Scoop.it

"Ten years from now, it will be easy to forget a time when our communication through computers was separate from the actions we take every day: a walled-off activity peering into a screen. In contrast, we’ll use technology for actions that make a difference: connections, human contact, honest conversations.

Just as computers until now have optimized the exchange of words and pictures, tomorrow they will help us to decide what to do each day to make the greatest difference. We’ll see how our choices have impacts."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Watch out for the technology force that's more powerful than ten Facebooks: from words to actions

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Lorien Pratt from Decision Intelligence News
Scoop.it!

How Do You Vote? 50 Million Google Images Give a Clue

How Do You Vote? 50 Million Google Images Give a Clue | Political Technology | Scoop.it
Text has been easier for A.I. to handle, because words have discrete characters — 26 letters, in the case of English. That makes it much closer to the natural language of computers than the freehand chaos of imagery. But image recognition technology, much of it developed by major technology companies, has improved greatly in recent years.

The Stanford project gives a glimpse at the potential. By pulling the vehicles’ makes, models and years from the images, and then linking that information with other data sources, the project was able to predict factors like pollution and voting patterns at the neighborhood level.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Machine learning from image information for political canvassing in addition to the text that's used today has powerful implications.  Is it an invasion of privacy or a beneficial source of information to optimize activities?  Or a little of both?

more...
Lorien Pratt's curator insight, February 10, 12:50 AM

I've just recently seen this start to emerge for a number of clients: the use of image data in addition to text data as a source for machine learning.  An important new direction.

Rescooped by Lorien Pratt from Decision Intelligence News
Scoop.it!

Forbes: Throw Out The Rule Book To Improve Customer Experience (aka constituent satisfaction)

Forbes: Throw Out The Rule Book To Improve Customer Experience (aka constituent satisfaction) | Political Technology | Scoop.it

““Data alone is chocolate, not chocolate cake. It’s just one ingredient: necessary but not sufficient to obtain business value from many data sources,” said Pratt, chief scientist and co-founder of the software company Quantellia. “Machine learning, artificial intelligence and decision intelligence are needed to extract the full value from investments in big data.”

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Although this Forbes article is from the commercial world, it's even more relevant in politics, where simple rules for contacting constituents quickly become obsolete, and machine learning to automatically create those rules is becoming more and more important.

more...
Lorien Pratt's curator insight, February 9, 11:56 PM

Because you should use a chocolate metaphor whenever possible.

Aurelie Giard's curator insight, March 20, 8:15 AM

Il y a de plus en plus de données, il faut choisir ce qu'on en fait.

La DSI et les directions métiers doivent collaborer pour établir les cas d'usage qui amèneront de la valeur aux employés et aux clients. La clé selon Pratt est d'utiliser les différents outils à disposition (machine learning, sentiment analysis, modèles prédictifs, etc) pour analyser ce que les clients veulent et adapter dynamiquement les processus. 

Je pense que les entreprises devraient s'interroger sur les données qu'elles ont déjà, peut-être en abandonner certaines pour se concentrer sur ce qui amène réellement de la valeur pour le client, et trouver le moyen de collecter ce qui leur manque.

Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Simple political tools have a big impact

"Instead of trying to accommodate these platforms, many organizations simply wanted affordable, plug-n-play tools that directly impacted specific actions; like membership growth sprints or small-dollar fundraising pushes. Their immediate needs included lowering the barriers of entry for new supporters, cutting down on hours of data-entry, and communicating calls-to-action directly to supporters while tracking their commitments and results."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Keep it simple: good to know as the political tech market tries to build sophisticated tools

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

NGP VAN's Minivan: mobile canvassing with a smart device

NGP VAN's Minivan: mobile canvassing with a smart device | Political Technology | Scoop.it

"Forget clipboards and data entry. Canvassing with MiniVAN is simple, accurate, fully integrated with VAN, and totally free."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

This is the future of canvassing.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Humans, not Data or Tech, Constraining Programmatic For Political Campaigns: comScore's Davidsen

"Campaigns can be more effective if left to algorithms...campaigns...if they're not taking advantage of...[highly granular data]...are in the stone age."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

About how comscore uses data for political campaigns.  Note that the original title didn't really capture the content.  Between "team", "technology", and "targeting", it's the "team" that's lagging. 

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult @aeonmag

Why it’s as hard to escape an echo chamber as it is to flee a cult @aeonmag | Political Technology | Scoop.it
First you don’t hear other views. Then you can’t trust them. Your personal information network entraps you just like a cult
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Political technology, as it's used today, creates echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.  Here's how to understand-and escape-them.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video | UK news | The Guardian

Cambridge Analytica whistleblower: 'We spent $1m harvesting millions of Facebook profiles' – video | UK news | The Guardian | Political Technology | Scoop.it
Whistleblower details workings of Cambridge Analytica and its use of targeted political advertising that could be used to influence people's opinions
Lorien Pratt's insight:
Every American should watch this video, especially those of us wielding powerful tools like machine learning. A cautionary tale; we must use technology responsibly, which means being well informed about the consequences of our actions.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Hillary Mason pwns Twitter!

Hillary Mason pwns Twitter! | Political Technology | Scoop.it
Ms. Mason, the data scientist, eventually took matters into her own hands. After she filed dozens of impersonation reports to Twitter in 2015, the company suspended many of the impostors, but left dozens untouched.So she created more than 100 bots of her own, using as many variations of her name as she could think of. Each linked back to her real account, with the message “the real hmason is over there.” Eventually, Ms. Mason’s homegrown bots, and Twitter’s own efforts, seemed to overwhelm the impostors, she said, and the surge in fake accounts stopped.“With Twitter, it was easy” to make bots, Ms. Mason said. “I was shocked by how easy it was.”
Lorien Pratt's insight:
An important parable in the evolution of the platforms that increasingly underpin politics.
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Digital Precinct Captains: A New Strategy for Democrats

Digital Precinct Captains: A New Strategy for Democrats | Political Technology | Scoop.it
This digital precinct plan, if implemented and successful, could create an enduring semi-decentralized digital-oriented permanent campaign structure. This structure would take advantage of the reduced costs of two-way communications between the federal party and grassroots outside the strictures of TV ads or mainstream media.

It would also go a long way to ensuring that Democrats leave no voter behind.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

A spot-on vision for how Democrats will dominate the digital age: beginning with appointing Digital Precinct Captains.  By Jeff Hauser of the Revolving Door Project housed at the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

How Russia exported “political technology” to America.

How Russia exported “political technology” to America. | Political Technology | Scoop.it
Specialists known as “political technologists” have been a feature of politics in Russia and other former Soviet countries since the early post-Communist parties. They are not quite the same as the “spin doctors” of democratic politics, or the blunter propagandists of totalitarian systems. Rather than just promoting their own favored candidates, they manufacture entire political narratives, including opposition, to keep them in power. As the British scholar Andrew Wilson puts it in his book Virtual Politics, the technologists act as “political meta-programmers, system designers, decision-makers, and political controllers all in one, applying whatever technology they can to the construction of politics as a whole.”

There’s some similarity to proud American political traditions like “astroturfing”—manufacturing fake grassroots movements—or “ratfucking,” using dirty tricks to undermine or discredit your opponents. (Roger Stone, confidant of Nixon and later Trump, is famous for doing things like sending donations to Nixon’s Republican rivals in the name of the Young Socialists Alliance. But the Russian variant is more precise and comprehensive.)
Lorien Pratt's insight:

The dark side of "political technology"

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

The Democrats’ Tech team is hiring

I’m starting to hire at the DNC. You may ask, “Really, the Democratic National Committee?”. Yes! We are the center of the progressive movement and are in a unique position to help raise the tide…
Lorien Pratt's insight:
good jobs for our political tech friends
more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Senate Intelligence briefing features AI and Decision Advantage – winworks.ai

Senate Intelligence briefing features AI and Decision Advantage – winworks.ai | Political Technology | Scoop.it

General Ashley: “There is a key piece of this…which is how do you operationalize it….a WWII example: the fact that there were planes, radios, and tanks, was not unique to the Germans in WWII…they came up with an operational concept that allowed them to leverage that…[I asked Peter Singer]… as you look at the things that are emerging… what do you see in the way of a breakthrough that would give somebody a really marked advantage…. [Singer said it’s not that I see something that gives someone a marked advantage..].. It’s who’s able to harness it, who’s able to operationalize it, and put it to effect.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Incredibly important to anyone interested in data, AI, election integrity and national security. Must-watch hearing.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

The Computer Scientist Who Prefers Paper

The Computer Scientist Who Prefers Paper | Political Technology | Scoop.it
Four voting machines had been secured for the event, three of them types still in use. One team of hackers used radio signals to eavesdrop on a machine as it recorded votes. Another found a master password online. Within hours of getting their hands on the machines, the hackers had discovered vulnerabilities in all four.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Does security require going low tech?

more...
No comment yet.
Rescooped by Lorien Pratt from Decision Intelligence News
Scoop.it!

AI Sales Enablement for a Smoother Buyer Journey

AI Sales Enablement for a Smoother Buyer Journey | Political Technology | Scoop.it
In short, an AI-based sales enablement tool is a multifunctional asset to any sales team. It takes over routine work, freeing up reps’ time. It simplifies data management, ensuring that reps don’t have to search through a lot of extraneous information to get what they need. And it can help teams reach their full potential by guiding their sales conversations and training them in effective selling techniques.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Many technologies that have matured in the world of commercial sales are relevant for political candidates as well.  The sales "good guys" use tech to learn about their customer's needs, to do a better job of helping them find the best solution, to build authentic relationships, and more.

more...
Lorien Pratt's curator insight, February 10, 12:19 AM

AI is becoming increasingly important in sales. This article by my friend Anil gives a comprehensive overview of use cases.

Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Rollout Democracy: political technology for Europe

Rollout Democracy: political technology for Europe | Political Technology | Scoop.it

"...our vision is to put pro-European Union political organizations on the cutting edge of the digital age, by providing them with technology and strategy consulting services so that they can fight for the values upon which the EU was founded: democracy, respect for human rights, equality, and peace."

Lorien Pratt's insight:

Worth a read for a view of how one firm is offering political technology for European elections

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Bettors need to know: Did the shutdown even happen?

Bettors need to know: Did the shutdown even happen? | Political Technology | Scoop.it
The question, posed on the online political prediction market PredictIt.org, seemed simple enough: “Will the federal government be shut down on January 22?” People bet real money, buying and selling 2 million shares of either Yes or No.

Then Monday came and went, and the government was closed and then it was open. Midnight arrived and PredictIt did not pay the Yes bettors or the No bettors, with both sides believing they had won the bet.
Lorien Pratt's insight:

Predictit.org is an online political prediction market.  This article is about the shutdown, and whether it happened per this prediction market.  More broadly, prediction markets are worth a look for crowd sourced opinions about future events.

more...
No comment yet.
Scooped by Lorien Pratt
Scoop.it!

Higher Ground Labs: building an ecosystem political technology to help progressives win

Higher Ground Labs: building an ecosystem political technology to help progressives win | Political Technology | Scoop.it

Higher Ground Labs is an incubator and accelerator for political
technology. We help entrepreneurs building tools to help democratic campaigns win.

Lorien Pratt's insight:

The 2018 accelerator program starts in April.  Who's planning to apply?

more...
No comment yet.