Internet Extremism with Lochlan Bloom

Religious extremists use technology to recruit vulnerable individuals to a violent cause. Google is developing ways to combat this extremism through its platforms, namely YouTube. When a user looks for inflammatory religious or supremacist content, YouTube’s “Redirect Method” instead sends those users toward anti-terrorist videos.

Google’s fight against extremism compelled writer Lochlan Bloom to write an article called “The Coming Battle: AI, Extremism, and the New War of Ideas.” Lochlan joins the show to discuss the societal implications of giant internet providers controlling our information flow.

Lochlan is a science fiction writer, most recently of The Wave, a book that mixes existentialism with quantum physics. Our reality is defined by what we observe, and this theme courses through our conversation–from religion to Twitter to artificial intelligence.

Show Notes

The Coming Battle: AI, Extremism, and the New War of Ideas


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  • Ko Litjens

    Jeff, how can you say you have had not lived in a culture where religion is deeply intermingled with society? You live in the center of Christian extremism. The evangelicals were laying hands on the president ffs.

    You equated religious extremists with Islam but it comes in all flavors. Even if you conflated extremism with terrorism I dare say there is not that big of a difference. Gays are getting thrown off of buildings in name of many religions. Literally or figuratively.

    Your guest tried to make a difference between parts of the US where it is secular and started with naming the east coast but you didn’t pick up on that.

    • Jeff Meyerson

      Hi Ko, I am new to this subject so I probably don’t pick my words as delicately as I should.

      I have lived in secular areas of major metropolitan areas in US for my whole life, so you are probably right that I am not aware firsthand of how much Christian extremism there is.

      In fact–upon further reflection, I have had many friends who have grown up damaged by their extreme Christian upbringing.

      Thanks for your comment–I hope you keep listening.