Endeavour scoops Woolley's book on 'next frontier of fake news'

Endeavour scoops Woolley's book on 'next frontier of fake news'

Octopus imprint Endeavour has scooped the “gripping inside story of the next frontier of fake news” from digital propaganda expert Dr Samuel Woolley.

Claudia Connal, publishing director at Octopus, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights from Amber Hoover at Public Affairs. The Reality Game: How the next wave of technology will break the truth – and what we can do about it will be published on 9th January 2020.

Its synopsis explains: “The Reality Game shows how a vastly more powerful wave of technologies will be used to manipulate and control disinformation and disrupt the political process.

“Samuel Woolley shows us the risks of new technologies such as human-like automated voice systems, machine learning, 'deep-fake' AI-edited videos and images, interactive memes, virtual reality and augmented reality. In stories both deeply researched and compellingly written, Woolley describes this future, and explains how the technology can be manipulated, who might control it and its impact on political strategy. Most importantly, he explores how we can start to design technology that is fit for democracy.”

Woolley is an expert in AI, digital persuasion and social media, founding director of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute for the Future and co-founder of the Computational Propaganda Project at the Oxford Internet Institute.

He said: “I firmly believe that society can fight back against the rise of digital disinformation. We all know that social media has been a key tool for manipulating public opinion around the world in recent years. We must not stand for this. This book outlines a path forward for preventing similar misuses of burgeoning technology like VR, AI, and online video. I argue that we can hold technology firms, governments and the groups launching propaganda campaigns accountable. Informed by years of fieldwork and interviews, I provide practical ways to respond. We can design technology with human rights and democratic values in mind. The time to act is now.”

Connal added: “Samuel has immersed himself in the Dark Net to uncover what is coming in the future and how we can best defend against it. As soon as I read the proposal, I knew we had to publish The Reality Game. Part of Samuel’s work is designing an ethical code for technology companies to sign up to. An honourable endeavour that would have far-reaching benefits for us all.”