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Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Other people look at an article like this and say "oh my, the tech is broken". I look at it and say "this is what's already being done to children". In this specific case, a 'backdoor' is a way of implanting secret behaviours into in a machine learning model. As a rough analogy, think of it as robot hypnosis. This article describes a way of encoding backdoors so they can only be triggered with an encrypted key, rendering them impossible for anyone else to detect. Think of it as like a hypnotist's code word. Or dog whistle. And that's a problem. And the same technique can be used when training humans. Not hypnosis, specifically, but the encoding of hidden 'backdoor' patterns into otherwise innocuous media. Like, for example, including references to 'replacement theory' as though it's a real thing into news broadcasts, learning materials, and popular cartoon television shows.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada
stephen@downes.ca

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Last Updated: Jun 13, 2024 03:33 a.m.

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