Donald Tusk warns against "merciless manipulator" in a lecture in Białystok
"What is new and constitutes an ever greater challenge, apart from cracks in the geopolitical structure as we know it, is the great technological challenge" - Donald Tusk said in his lecture he gave at the University of Białystok on Monday. "This new narrative which will emerge in this particular sphere - which may be out of any control - will not be a narrative of a tender narrator, but may be a narrative of a merciless manipulator" - he argued.
Former prime minister of Poland and president of the European Council, and current chief of the European People's Party (EPP), Donald Tusk inaugurated the Diplomatic Festival in Białystok with a speech he delivered at the law department of the local university. The festival is meant to educate young people about contemporary world, international issues, diplomacy, as well as to encourage them to discussion and debate.
Great technological challenge
In his lecture, the former president of the European Council underscored the challenges related with the development of new technologies and how they affect the functioning of contemporary societies. ""What is new and constitutes an ever greater challenge, apart from cracks in the geopolitical structure as we know it, is the great technological challenge" - he said.
In this context, he mentioned China which - as he put it - "proved it could become a massive powerhouse, not only in demographic sense, but also economic and (...) technological". "That's why today, discussion on 5G, on artificial intelligence, becomes of crucial importance" - he explained. He added, however, that "there are no reasons to give up yet, no reasons to declare that Europe or the Western world have definitely lost this confrontation".
China is ahead in some areas
"Indeed, today China is leading in certain areas. If we're talking generally about the phenomenon of artificial intelligence and the so-called big data (...) than in some areas China has already overtaken the rest of the world, but not many are aware that within something we call 5G, 50 percent of all patents in the world are European" - Donald Tusk said. "Only 30 percent are Chinese patents, and 14 percent are American" - he added.
"Undoubtedly, what it about to unfold in the global, European, and also Polish politics, will mostly take place in the spheres barely understood, especially by my generation" - he pointed out.
"When today we're witnessing the feud between the United States and China, although Europe also is actively participating in it, over 5G, over Huawei's presence in Europe, then we're not talking about a conflict of business. We're really talking about who will be skillfully controlling something that is actually already being developed, that is artificial intelligence in mass use, which can be helpful, but at the same time control virtually all spheres of human activity" - Tusk underscored.
Tender narrator vs merciless manipulator
Furthermore, the former chief of the European Council said: "Already today, politics in all its aspects, economy and management - also of our emotions and imagination - are moving to a place in which, at least on the face of it, more important would be an intelligent antenna, gathering and producing data and controlling our daily life, but at the same time controlling our emotions and imagination".
"We probably all share the same concern that this new narrative which will emerge in this particular sphere - which may be out of any control - will not be a narrative of a tender narrator, but may be a narrative of a merciless manipulator" - Donald Tusk said referring this way to the title of Olga Tokarczuk Nobel lecture.
Two models of manipulation
"The problem is - as history shows us - that you neither have to be ethically mature. nor particularly smart, in order to be incredibly skilled in manipulation, deceit and playing on emotions" - the chief of the European People's Party stressed. "Today we're dealing with tools (...) that can once start to manipulate our imagination and our emotions in ways impossible to even conceive by us" - he added.
Tusk said that "there are two models" of such manipulation. "The Chinese model, in which artificial intelligence and this ever faster data processing create the ability to fully control not only the bahaviour of citizens, and not only what they do" - Tusk said. "Really today, thanks not only to AI and various digital technologies (...), a state - if we're talking about a model like the Chinese state - is able not only increase control citizens, to check what they do, but also to programme them, make plans for them, encourage them to particular activities or bahaviour" - he argued.
"In the West, we have a different model, but not that much safer" - Tusk said. He explained that it was called a "dispersed model". "It's not a structure controlled by autocracy (...) but also can control our emotions, our imagination, for instance, for business purposes" - he added.
"Both Brexit and the last election in the United States (2016 presidential election won by Donald Trump) have shown that these private moguls, motivated by business and ideology, are capable of providing tools of an unbelievable scale to politicians and governments" - the EPP chief said.
Intellectual and emotional helplessness
We without tools, understanding and knowledge - in other words, a human not understanding what's happening around him, someone unable to grasp even basic information, basic rules of this ever changing system - he will be emotionally and intellectually helpless, he will an easy target of manipulation" - Donald Tusk said.
"We may lose something that at least some us hold dear, namely personal freedoms and rule of law, unless we make them as modern and adequate to what is happening in technology. Today, we already need a 2.1 version of rule of law and citizen freedoms, no longer 2.0" - he said in a lecture in Białystok.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English