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Hacking Society, Hacking Humanity

A hacker mindset is essential to understanding the security of complex technological systems. This way of thinking applies much more broadly: not only to socio-technical systems but to purely social systems as well. Tax loopholes, for example, can be understood as hacks of the tax code. Disinformation campaigns can be understood as hacks of the democratic election process. This talk extends the core language of hacking to the broad systems that underlie our society. Bruce will talk about what it means to hack the law, to hack the market economy, and to hack the democratic process. Others have written about how social engineering hacks trust and authority, and how social media sites hack attention. Bruce will generalize this further, discussing how our cognitive systems are hacked. Finally, he will extend these notions to discuss artificial intelligence and robotics; these systems will hack what it means to be human, and also how we react to things we react to as human. In the 21st century, everything is a socio-technical system, and everything is vulnerable to hacking. Our experience and expertise is necessary to secure these systems, and the goal of this talk is to explain how we can do that.