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Viral Deception and Real Drones: AI's Impact from Ukraine to Israel

While social media fixates on fake war videos, the impact of AI in Ukraine and Israel barely receives a tweet. From autonomous drones to logistics to targeting, AI is quietly reshaping warfare. EP #40

AI is being rapidly militarized and weaponized by global powers. While we all focus on fake videos, the threat is autonomous drones and a renewed nuclear arms race enabled by AI.

Specific examples like Ukraine's AI drones, Israel's nukes, and Russia/China's nuclear stockpiling are evidence of the high stakes and urgency of this issue.

AI seems to always come with a benefit and a threat. As the host of AI Optimist, I want to take a step back from getting caught up in the heated social media battles over deepfakes and fake videos.

Those are annoying, but there are serious implications of AI we need to deal with - especially in military applications and warfare.

In this episode, I'll share my perspective on the "hidden" role AI is playing to enable autonomous weapons and present an ominous future if we don't find a way to establish guardrails.

From the AI-powered killer drones being used in Ukraine to the nuclear weapons stockpiling of countries like Russia, China, and Israel, the stakes are incredibly high.

 I'm usually an AI optimist, but when it comes to the potential risks posed by unchecked military AI development, in this issue count me as an AI pessimist.

Appreciate you taking a few minutes to consider the importance of what seems just like more fake videos on social media.

AI in Modern Warfare is starting to scale.

The boundary between the virtual and real intertwine, the 40th episode of The AI Optimist plunges into the evolving narrative of artificial intelligence, warfare, and our detached, almost snarky view of the world trolled by fake videos around real events like Iran bombing Israel.

Discover a world teetering on the edge of tech omnipotence and ethical ambiguity. The invisible threads of AI weaving a story that might dictate the future of international warfare.

AI’s potential for innovation matches its capacity for destruction. Peel back the layers of mainstream AI discussions, glossing over the darker scenarios brewing beneath the surface.

The Spread of Fake Videos

  1. Impact on Public Perception:

    • Fake videos, often generated with AI tools, are a potent tool for propaganda in war zones. They may dramatically alter public opinion, sway political decisions, and influence the course of the conflict.

  2. Social Media as a Battlefield:

    • While social media is a platform for raising awareness and rallying humanitarian support, it has also been misused to spread fake narratives.

    • Some social media algorithms monetize by negative behavior, paying for posting weird and wild and sometimes fake. It’s about getting views, not sharing news.

AI in Warfare

  1. AI's in Modern Conflicts:

    • In the Ukraine conflict and the ongoing tensions in Israel, AI is used for strategic planning to autonomous weapon systems. Escalating the capabilities and efficiency of military forces, making warfare more efficient yet more destructive.

  2. The Challenge of Autonomous Weapons:

    • One of the most controversial aspects of AI in warfare is the deployment of autonomous weapons. These systems operate without human intervention, raising questions about the future of combat and the potential for unintended escalation.

  3. Misinformation and Propaganda:

    • AI has been used to create and spread misinformation, including fake videos distorting public perception and influencing narratives during wars. This misuse of technology leads to widespread confusion and misinformation.

A Call for Slowing the spread of military AI

  1. International Interventions:

    • There needs to be a global response to the militarization of AI. The speaker suggested organizing world conferences and meetings, possibly under the auspices of the United Nations, to formulate a cohesive strategy to manage and potentially limit the military use of AI.

  2. Challenges in Implementation:

    • However, international bodies rarely enforce such regulations. Past efforts have seen limited success, with major powers often circumventing or ignoring international norms when it suits their strategic interests.

  3. Grassroots Movements and Public Opinion:

    • Beyond governmental and international actions, there is a growing need for public awareness and grassroots movements that can push for stricter controls on military AI. Public opinion can be a powerful force in influencing policy decisions, especially in democratic nations.

This pod started the day Iran launched its response

Iran sent more than 300 drones and missiles toward Israel, Iranian state TV shows a video of a fire under an orange sky. But that footage was not from Israel; it's footage from a Chilean wildfire in February.

Viral Deception and Real Drones: AI's Impact from Ukraine to Israel

While social media fixates on fake war videos, the impact of AI in Ukraine and Israel barely receives a tweet. From autonomous drones to logistics to targeting, AI is quietly reshaping modern warfare.

Iran's recent attacks on Israel brought a different kind of warfare in social. Beyond the misleading fake videos, it's becoming harder to believe what you see, from governments to influencers.


This video was actually from a gaming simulation video on YouTube.


1. Why a fire in Chile Tweet about Iran's State TV - the fire was in Chile


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The AI Optimist
The AI Optimist
Moving beyond AI hype, The AI Optimist explores how we can use AI to our advantage, how not to be left behind, and what's essential for business and education going forward.
Each week for one year I’m exploring the possibilities of AI, against the drawbacks. Diving into regulations and the top 10 questions posed by AI Pessimists, I’m not here to prove I’m right. The purpose here is to engage in discussions with both sides, hear out what we fear and what we hope for, and help design AI models that benefit us all.