The Influencing machine and Its masters

Marek Tuszynski

Summary
2024 has been described as the year that will decide who controls and drives the agenda of the 21st century, with national elections taking place in 40 countries. How influence and opinion is shaped and the role digital media will play will be crucial - but do we know how it works?
Stage 9
Talk
English
Conference

In 2024, there will be nearly 90 elections around the world, affecting democracy in 40% of the world's population.  Elections are the frontline for testing new methods of influencing citizens' perceptions, opinions and actions. These include established technologies and formats such as technology platforms, social media and advertising (which are mainly responsible for spreading confusion, polarisation and information disorder), as well as new, unprecedented possibilities offered by various implementations of AI (synthetic media, deepfakes, LLMs). Digital elections are also not yet fully understood. They are an evolving playground for hundreds of actors, companies supporting political party campaigns are adapting highly effective commercial persuasion techniques to increase donations. While others specialise in helping political actors attract new supporters, suppress opponents and activate potential voters. So let's zoom out and take a closer look at this influencing machine. What do we find?

Head-shot Marek Tuszynski
Executive Director / co-founder