Thoughts on Botnets and Creativity

Today, Botnets impact almost every aspect of human life. Promoting products, providing support, creating and distributing entertainment, and even winning national elections - all have become unthinkable without Botnets. They are a deeply transformative, yet silent technology.

A realistic solution to the rapidly exploding challenges related to Botnets (fake-news/social engineering/spam/pressures on human economic-systems/etc.) can't be more top-down regulation, censorship and control systems, developed and maintained by giant corporations, post-democratic governments and armies of shadowy contractors - all operating out of reach of effective public controls. As the surface for abuse of such systems is close to infinite, predictably the outcomes will be much worse than the original "evil" they pretend to combat.

Instead, I suggest making the tools and knowledge needed to create Botnets widely available to the creative class - and heavily investing in public education and the establishment of global efficacy standards. The resulting scenario will be equally chaotic and dangerous, but at least more fun, inclusive and transparent. To illustrate this, contemplate the following idea: "Brand celebrity endorsements, powered by generative deepfakes". Clearly, a botnet carrying out such a campaign at scale would be deeply disruptive (or deadly) for the advertising industry. 

Beyond fear, there is hope - and so I leave you with the following prediction:

Botnets will be the quintessential art-form of the 2020s.

#Bots #Ideas