In the early days of the Internet, a popular cartoon by
Peter Steiner published in The New Yorker magazine
circulated that poked fun at users browsing the web. A
dog is pictured sitting at a computer saying to another
dog, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” While
this cartoon generated laughs from a largely technical
audience, it pointed out a serious authentication problem
in the architecture of the Internet and the ease with
which information that flows through it can influence
audiences and human behaviors without knowing the
intentions or actual identities of the source. Unlike those
days, it is now possible for sophisticated algorithms,
powered by advances in artificial intelligence (AI), to
generate fake accounts and mass produce convincing
content to spread false and misleading information to
influence public opinion, elections, and perhaps even
our national security. The continuous flood of information
available today combined with social networks
that amplify content has made it more difficult than
ever for end users to distinguish trustworthy information
from content produced and distributed for malign
purposes.

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