Information policy, mass media, and AI:
Ulrike Reisner's lecture at MSU
On October 25th, the Lomonosov Moscow State University (Faculty of World Politics, Chair of Information Support for Foreign Policy) held an online lecture by Ulrike Reisner, journalist and independent political scientist from Austria.

Outlook on the Future Relations of the EU with Russia: Information Policy Issues

In the lecture, the speaker shared with the audience her own analysis of information policy issues and of media influence on societies. She mentioned the problems of using AI in mass media and possible new trends in the information sphere. After the lecture, Ms. Reisner answered a lot of questions from the audience. The lecture was arranged by Natalia Burlinova, President of Creative Diplomacy and Lecturer at the Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Here are some highlights of Ms. Resiner's presentation:
  1. "Knowledge and information are a resource comparable to financial capital or natural resources such as oil, gas, or rare earths."
  2. "Information policy describes a policy field that deals with information as a political tool in terms of form and content."
  3. "News agencies determine agenda setting, are "gatekeepers" in the selection of news and use information policy as a strategy in political competition. <…> With their infrastructure, they dominate search engines, filter out information that - for whatever reason - should not be reproduced and foreground others that are found suitable for reproduction."
  4. "The entire international Western world view, which many users largely worldwide receive and consume daily in the mass media, is thus formulated by an extremely small number of Western international news agencies."
  5. "Despite the enhanced openness and deindividuation in the digital sphere, it appears that online political discussion largely takes the form of fragmented interactions within politically homogeneous clusters . This fragmentation is obviously speeding up people's inability to communicate across differences, which is the beginning of a decline in democratic political discourse."
  6. "Information is influenced by rational, emotional and intuitive parameters."
  7. "AI is a new and powerful actor in information policy."
  8. "The aim of using AI in modern information management of news agencies is to create the highest possible informative conformity pressure."
  9. "The Method of Fractal Description <…> allows a multidimensional description of complex and interconnected issues, which is helpful in political processes insofar as a growing number of influencing parameters must be recorded, which influence certain circumstances or have caused them."
  10. "In our globalised, digitised world, tech corporations and media groups are working on their monopolistic dissemination of opinions with the help of the new platform economy. <…> Their one-sided, highly abbreviated messages benefit from two essential characteristics of the human brain to which every form of propaganda owes its success: laziness of thought (to save energy) and "kicks" to constantly stimulate the reward centre in the brain (infotainment). Political communicators exploit another basic human need, namely that of the simplest dichotomies in terms of simple "us-them" formations (friend-foe scheme)."
  11. "The enemies of knowledge are belief- and ideology-based explanations. They are based on closed world views that are not amenable to rational scrutiny. In contrast, the great meme complex of rational information provides methods to reject empty, illogical, or simply false ideas. Facts, arguments, and evidence are information that appeals less to the feelings or beliefs of the recipients than to their reason. Irrational information encourages stereotypical, fast, and unconscious thinking, while rational information stimulates effortful, logical, calculating, and conscious thinking."