This week has been quite eventful, with a lot going on. But amidst all the noise and news, there’s one pressing question that keeps popping up in my mind:

Is artificial intelligence (AI) messing with our heads?

Are we losing touch with ourselves because of it? Could it be that there people in our society are using AI to shape our sense of humanity? Or maybe we’re just getting a bit too paranoid? Can AI play on our emotions and trick our brains? This topic looks into how AI-generated stuff messes with our minds, influences the choices we make, and why it’s more important than ever to think critically in the digital age.

Case 1:Aljazeera:Who is the Super Power: The USA/Israel?

The undeniable truth…

This conflict has underscored the profound impact of social media on major political and historical issues. Palestinians have recognized the power of social platforms and have actively shared their daily struggles, even predating the outbreak of war. From my perspective, the conflict has provided a window into their enduring hardships since the breakdown of peace talks, culminating in the Second Intifada declared in the year 2000.

Al Jazeera’s efforts to challenge Israeli information sources are exceptional. I recommend watching their coverage to gain a deeper understanding of the current situation

The reporting highlights the courage displayed amidst adversity, while also shedding light on the apparent paralysis of the global community, particularly the United States, in addressing the suffering of Palestinian civilians and Israeli hostages . The inability of these parties to agree on responsibility complicates the plight of children and women in the region.

The most fundamental question keeps coming to mind as I think about this:

Does what we see in the video exist? I’m not sure why someone would support depriving an entire generation of children. Have I also been slowed down by random thoughts and ideas that i cannot see to tell the truth? Yet, akin to how we perceive information, it is how we react to the same pieces handed to us.

Yet, amidst these uncertainties, I find myself grappling with deeper moral questions rather than CCAI (communication, cognitive AI) issues.

Has Israel forgotten the lessons of history, including the atrocities of the death camps and the horrors of Hitler’s regime? Why would they turn against an entire generation of people? Has a whole community been doubled down so that they cannot speak up? Do we have a case where weaponry may not work any more and the need to effectively address the impact of social media in the conflict could be the reason there are exacerbations of tensions and hindering efforts towards resolution?

Yet despite the proliferation of deep fakes, the denials, and the deliberate omission of information, the truth always smokes up.

The realization for me is that even in the era of AI, our innate cognitive instincts drive us to seek authenticity and truth, as it is ultimately nature or a higher power that reveals.

We constantly ask, What is the truth?

May peace prevail.

Case 2: Catherine, Princess of Wales—Case of Bad Photo Editing or Deep Fakes?

Following abdominal surgery and a period of public absence, the Princess of Wales released a photograph featuring her and her children. The image, believed to be self-edited, sparked controversy due to inconsistencies, raising questions about its authenticity. Major British media outlets labelled it a “poorly done fake,” leading to speculation and tabloid headlines regarding the Princess’s health and personal life.

The challenge of managing public perception in today’s media landscape is significant. Strategic communication (PR) is crucial, yet gaps in addressing media inquiries can arise.

While silence might seem like a strategy to suppress a story, it can create a vacuum for misinformation to spread. The rise of AI-powered content creation tools allows some websites to publish numerous articles daily, bypassing the fact-checking processes employed by established media outlets. This creates pressure on traditional media to keep pace, potentially compromising the accuracy of their reporting.

The first official photo of the Princess of Wales since her abdominal surgery in January has been released by Kensington Palace. The image, taken by Prince William, shows the princess with her three children, Prince Louis, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, taken in Windsor, earlier this week. The photo is accompanied by a Mother's Day message along with a thank you from the princess for the public's "continued support". Image from Instagram princeandprincessofwales Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother???s Day. C ?????? The Prince of Wales, 2024

Photo as questioned by the British Press

Case 3: Viral Video on Haiti?

Haiti faces a significant challenge in tackling gang violence. News reports, like those found in the New York Times, highlight the history and the impact of the same on the ongoing struggles of Haiti as a nation. There’s a pressing need for both the Haitian leadership and the public to work collaboratively towards a solution. The recent tragedies and loss of life have undoubtedly caused immense despair amongst the Haitian people. A deep sense of loss is seen on the many faces I see on my timelines.

However, the resurfacing of a two-year-old video depicting brutal gang violence raises questions about its purpose. While the content is disturbing, it’s crucial to acknowledge the source and its potential aim of dissuading external support for the gang community, as they are called. What aim did a 2-year video seek or aim to serve?

Case 4: The Media Advertising Policy.

A recent directive requiring government agencies to solely utilize the national broadcaster for communication purposes has drawn criticism. The slow response from media houses, with many seemingly unaware of the policy, raises concerns.

While some speculate that the delayed response might be linked to the growing influence of AI, and changes in the media landscape, as a communicator, I shudder at the fact that we are now seeing a delayed response to facts and issues that have a direct impact on families, communities, and a country. Is this an ideological subversion of who we are? Then again, are we staring at the potential stifling of independent media? Critics argue that the directive punishes larger media outlets perceived as lacking support for the government.

This policy contradicts Kenya’s democratic principles. A vibrant and diverse media landscape is crucial for informed citizen participation, fostering national growth. Curtailing the reach of independent media outlets essentially weakens the very platform that empowers the public and undermines the progress Kenya has achieved. Such actions risk facing harsh judgment from the very citizens the government seeks to serve.

Back to where the issue of the cases began: Has AI Manipulated Our Thinking?

The recent influx of questionable information raises concerns about the potential for AI-driven manipulation and its impact on critical thinking in the digital age.

AI-generated content: The ability to create deepfakes and other forms of fabricated media blurs the line between reality and fiction, potentially influencing our perception of events?
Cognitive biases: AI can exploit our inherent biases and emotional responses, potentially swaying decision-making?

Crucial questions arise: Does the widespread use of AI content lead to a distorted sense of reality and self?

Are individuals in positions of power utilizing AI to manipulate public perception?

Have we slowed down a whole society even when the facts are placed on the table?

Where are the people who have the courage to speak the truth?

Individual Responsibility:

Critical Thinking: Developing strong critical thinking skills is vital. Question the source of information, its purpose, and its potential bias. Don’t simply accept information at face value.
Verification and Fact-Checking: Always verify information through reliable sources, like established news organizations with a history of fact-checking. Avoid sharing unverified information. Again, share the truth; don’t keep it to yourself. They say that the truth will set you free. Bible, John 8:32 I add:  The truth will set the world free.
Media Literacy: Educate yourself about the potential for misinformation and deepfakes. Utilize tools like Google Lens to assess the credibility of information.

Community-Level Solutions: Academia

Interdisciplinary Research: Collaboration between various academic disciplines (communication, AI, cognition) is crucial. This fosters a deeper understanding of the impact of AI on communication and information processing. We may need to start doing certain things due to proper research being done. Data sets are now easier to check Kissmetrics is one of my favorite The Marketch tool allows for power BI analytic sets as well as behavioral checks on a need basis. Book a demo here from the Kissmetrics team.
Research Focus Areas: Exploring the cognitive effects of AI-powered communication, its influence on decision-making, and the ethical implications of AI manipulation in communication channels are vital research areas.
Evolving Work Design: Modeling and theoretical frameworks will influence future work design. While some tasks become automated, the demand for critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity will increase.
Responsible AI Integration: Researchers can incorporate AI into their work while addressing potential biases. This might involve using diverse datasets and employing human oversight to ensure ethical considerations are addressed

The policymakers:

Public awareness campaigns: Educating the public on media literacy is essential to combating misinformation and promoting responsible information consumption.
Policy and Regulation: Developing policies to address issues like bias in algorithms and ensure responsible development of AI systems is necessary.

As we move forward in this era, we will always have the question at the back of our minds,

Is the video real?