Future Tense is the citizen’s guide to the future. A partnership among Arizona State University, Slate and the New America Foundation, Future Tense explores emerging technologies and their transformative effects on society and public policy.
What if we told you that fighting ISIS could be done cheaply, relatively easily, in a manner that would not escalate or put any in harm’s way? You might think that’s too good to be true. Except it’s not. One thing we know about ISIS is that recruiting is crucial to its successes and maintenance of its ranks. This recruiting, we are told, is sophisticated, utilizes both propaganda and direct interaction with individuals, and uses a variety of social media platforms. It can require thousands of hours of work, in the form of instant messaging, tweets, and Skype calls. In short, it is very time-intensive. It’s well established that time (and expertise) is not unlimited—but this supposition is only true if one is a human. Enter the next stage in undermining and fighting ISIS: artificial intelligence.