BY ZEYNEP GURCANLI
Global problems are also different in the Internet age. Will artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which develops almost every day, be hope or disaster for people? The world argues this.
The ministers responsible for digital issues of the Group of Seven (G-7), which consists of the most developed economies in the world, agreed on a global regulation for AI at the meeting held last week.
Although it has not been clearly stated now, it seems like similar global regulations, which were made in the field of economy and trade under the leadership of the U.S. after World War II, are planned. It is headed for a convention at the international level that aims to prevent the usage of AI for political purposes. There are even those who propose the establishment of an international task force to undertake global supervision on this issue. Although the decisions taken on AI at the G-7 meeting have not been taken that far yet, the world’s richest countries have agreed to make a risk-based regulation.
TECHNOLOGY COMPANIES VERSUS COUNTRIES
The cross-border dimension of the technology should not be ignored. Global technology companies take a stand against nation-states, which intend to make legal regulations in technology within the frame of their sovereignty. This is exactly what is happening in Brazil nowadays.
Google showed the most significant resistance to the Fake News Law, or Bill 2630, which the Brazilian government strives to pass in the Parliament. When the draft law revealed that search engines also have a responsibility for fake news spread, and envisaged for them to act, Google immediately launched a campaign against it in Brazil. Google, which placed a link next to the search engine for users in Brazil, directs them to blogs and commentaries, which oppose the Fake News Law that the Brazilian government tries to enact when that link is clicked.
The Brazilian government achieved Google to remove that link with a court decision. However, Google’s “reach out your deputy, prevent this law to be enacted” campaign for Brazilian voters continue against the bill.
Political chaos, which has recently been experienced, is behind this bill brought by the Brazilian government. The country’s far-right populist, President Bolsonaro, was defeated by left-wing candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the elections held in October 2022. However, Bolsonaro’s supporters didn’t stop. A coup attempt was planned in the country in January 2023 through former pro-president generals in the army. Public support was tried to be received with the fake news spread on social media during this attempt. The coup attempt failed. But the Brazilian government did not forget the fake news campaigning on social media during this attempt. Bill 2630 is the legacy of these events.
CONCERNS OVER TECHNOLOGICAL INTERVENTION IN ELECTIONS IN TURKEY
Concerns over the usage of a similar method in the elections to be held in Turkey increasingly continue. “The dark web world you are trying to agree with will lead you to fall into the hands of foreign intelligence. Playing Cambridge Analytica is beyond your capacity guys,” the Nation Alliance’s Presidential Candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu twitted, referring to the managers of the Presidential Directorate of Communication. This tweet has become the most concrete expression of this concern, which spreads in society.
The system developed by Cambridge Analytica, mentioned by Kilicdaroglu, was previously used in the U.S. Presidential elections and Brexit, and was successful. It is possible to roughly describe the system as software that determines people’s tendencies by analyzing their posts and the other users they follow.
Cambridge Analytica was closed with the emergence of the manipulation. But the uncontrolled dark web that Kilicdaroglu talked about does not stop. Cem Say, who is a professor at Bogazici University’s Department of Computer Engineering, summarized how this technology can be used in the Turkey elections, with a social media post:
“Dark web, Cambridge Analytica, AI, etc. Do not believe any “news” that you “see” until the morning of May 15 that someone (for example, Kilicdaroglu) has done or said something strange on the internet (unless that person is directly on TV and says: “Yes. That is how I did it). Let’s assume that you are a poll watcher. A video of Kilicdaroglu saying, “The man won” may start to circulate just as the votes are counted. Do not believe. Such things may happen that night. Be like a robot and do not deviate from your algorithm until you receive the electoral roll document and deliver it. Spring comes in the morning…”