U.S. Military Fights Deepfakes and Misinformation with AI Tool Data Robot

JJohn August 1, 2023 4:22 PM

The U.S. military is testing an artificial intelligence tool, known as Data Robot, aimed at detecting misleading content, including deepfakes, on social media. This tool is part of an effort to improve information warfare capabilities, providing accurate data to commanders and helping them make informed decisions.

Data Robot combats deepfakes

The U.S. military is putting an AI tool named Data Robot to the test, with the main aim to detect and trawl through misleading content such as bots or deepfakes on social media. The tool is designed to better inform military commanders operating in various regions, giving them a clear picture of the environment they're operating in. The Data Robot program was part of the Cyber Quest trials that took place throughout July at Fort Gordon in Georgia.

Fact-checking in the age of misinformation

With the deluge of misinformation on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, and the escalating online influence campaigns by various world powers, fact-checking has become a more complex task than ever. Data Robot is designed to swiftly discern fact from fiction, a critical capability for forces deployed in the field. For instance, the AI tool has been successful in debunking manipulated videos that have appeared online, such as the one involving the Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy last year.

Boosting information warfare capabilities

As part of a broader effort to beef up its information warfare capabilities, the U.S. military is leveraging the Data Robot tool. Information warfare involves a combination of data awareness and deception tactics used to gain advantage before, during, and after battles. The annual Cyber Quest event, where Data Robot was tested, is a platform where new technologies are evaluated to inform future investments. Major General Paul Stanton stated that events like Cyber Quest are vital for the military to work alongside industry and scientific partners to tailor existing protocols to meet their needs.

To effectively identify messages circulated by bots, the Data Robot tool necessitates about 90 days of data, as stated by Army Major General Paul Stanton. The tool relies on pattern recognition and other insights derived from extensive training regimens. Stanton acknowledged the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies during Cyber Quest, noting that social media dynamics in the Indo-Pacific markedly differ from those in the United States.

There are plans to integrate Data Robot into the Command Post Computing Environment after some necessary troubleshooting. This environment consolidates various programs and data streams into a common pane maintained by soldiers. It also provides a software and hardware framework upon which future applications can be built. The potential of this integration was highlighted by Army Colonel Brett Riddle, who deemed the progress made at Cyber Quest as promising.

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