The Grey Matter: Riding The Waves Of Change – Generative AI’s Role in Israel-Hamas Disinformation

Battle Beyond Borders – AI’s Advent into Modern Warfare

Ever thought we would live to see the day where algorithms engage in warfare? Strange times indeed. As the world grapples with the Israel-Hamas conflict, an unseen war rages in cyberspace. Here lies the battlefield of information and disinformation, often referred to as an “algorithmically driven fog of war.” But no worries, we marketers are experts in navigating through fogs, aren’t we?

Artificial Intelligence – Villain or Victim?

There were fears that we’d drown in an ocean of machine-made fake images during the conflict. However, contrary to these apprehensions, the role of generative AI has been more akin to a rivulet than a raging river. It seems the technology’s content has remained relatively peripheral. Phew! No Terminator sequels for now.

Nevertheless, generative AI has found a niche amongst activists aiming to gain support or create an illusion of wider support for their side. Think AI-powered billboards in Tel Aviv espousing support for the Israel Defense Forces, or Israeli influencers using AI to condemn Hamas. And yet, these instances remain the exception rather than the rule.

Consider this – the overall contribution of generative AI images towards the spread of information is minor compared to the deluge of genuine images and footage flooding our social media platforms.

The Misinformation Myth

There’s a tendency to think of generative AI as a Pandora’s box unleashing hoards of misinformation. After all, it’s more dramatic that way. However, the Harvard Kennedy School Misinformation Review echoes our thoughts when they explain that these concerns are quite “overblown.” The AI bogeyman isn’t always the culprit, dear marketers.

In reality, misinformation gains power when people see it, but its efficacy is undermined by limited attention spans (we’re all just goldfish at heart) and the sheer abundance of misinformation already available. Sounds similar to the marketing emails you send out? Yeah, we thought so too.

While generative AI can, in theory, create highly personalized and realistic content, the same results can be achieved with tools like Photoshop or video editing software. Essentially, generative AI isn’t the exclusive bearer of our disinformation woes. Instead, it plays a character role in a larger ensemble cast.

Journalism 2.0: Facing The AI Challenge

Our comrades in arms, journalists and fact-checkers, grapple more with out-of-context images or crude manipulations rather than deepfakes or generative AI. Ironically, the dazzle of generative AI might be diverting attention from other, equally effective yet straightforward, manipulation tactics. But hey, shinier toys get more attention, right?

However, while we’re all for embracing new technology, experts caution against apocalyptic views and advocate studying how generative AI fits into the current disinformation ecosystem. Because understanding your allies and enemies is key, even in the game of algorithms!

The Specter of Generative AI

Hany Farid, a professor at UC Berkeley School of Information, characterises generative AI as a “specter” that influences audio and video content related to the conflict. As marketers, we know how tricky it is to ensure our content conveys the right meaning. Now imagine doing that in a conflict zone!

The Disinformation Landscape

Generative AI’s influence in the Israel-Hamas conflict is part of a broader disinformation landscape. But here’s an interesting fact to ponder over your daily espresso – the prevalence of generative AI in this conflict surpasses its usage during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

As we navigate these turbulent waters, the debate surrounding generative AI’s potential harm continues. Hyped up claims of a “truth armageddon” make enticing headlines but let’s remember to separate the wheat of reality from the chaff of exaggeration.

Staying updated with developments in the generative AI world isn’t just about being informed; it’s about understanding how our professional landscape is evolving. Because when you’re a marketer in the world of AI, the only constant is change.

So keep your coffee mugs filled, your wit sharpened, and stay tuned for more updates from the thrilling world of generative AI. Until then, happy marketing!

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