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Chelsea Manning Talks National Security At SDSU

Chelsea Manning addresses an audience in Nantucket, Mass. on Sept. 17, 2017. Manning is a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who spent time in prison for sharing classified documents.
Associated Press
Chelsea Manning addresses an audience in Nantucket, Mass. on Sept. 17, 2017. Manning is a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who spent time in prison for sharing classified documents.
Chelsea Manning Talks National Security At SDSU
Chelsea Manning Talks A.I. Activism At SDSU GUEST: Chelsea Manning

>>> This is KPBS Midday Edition I am trying 14. Chelsea has emerged from hiding from everything from her wiki lakes exposure to her gender transformation. Chelsea Manning is traveling the country as a public speaker and running for Senate in her home state of Maryland. She is appearing at San Diego State University today giving a talk arranging from national security to resistance in the age of artificial intelligence. Welcome Chelsea Manning. What does it mean to resist in the age of artificial intelligence. >> It means to not expect that the problems will solve themselves or that the government or the big companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google are going to solve the problems themselves. And when I mean we, the general public, we need to actually be engaged. We need to do everything we can to resist artificial intelligence and the algorithms that are in control of our society. >>> Can you tell us how data becomes an algorithm? >> Data does not become an algorithm. It goes to an algorithm. The algorithms we have now, I will use this at the colloquial term. They -- learn base through data. Learns things about that data. It is also tainted by the data you feed it. If you feed bias data, if you only put in data about criminals, you will find that it learns how to identify these types of criminals. But it hyper- criminalizes a low population. These are algorithms are learning things. They learn in the same flawed and imperfect way that we learn. There is no such thing as an unbiased algorithm. >>> What do you see as a problem in the data collection? >> It is not the collection but how the data gets used. Companies use it to milk money off of us. As a side effect to that, we are essentially being controlled by the algorithms. What we see when we go onto Twitter or Facebook has been predetermined by the algorithms. We are being controlled by it. We only see what we are having presented to us based on our previous behaviors. That amount of power is essentially like subtly nudging us into different directions. It encourages us to be more politically polarized or to be less engaged with others. >>> I said you emerged from an espionage conviction to conduct a public life. >> It was an unauthorized disclosure under espionage act. >>> To many people year leak of information will always brand you as a trader. >> The only people who say this are public figures. They have an interest in thing that. This is the language of power. They label people criminals, undocumented, they label people they don't like because they step outside of the bounds which is exactly what we should do step outside of the bounds and pushback. >>> Do you never actually personally meet anyone with that kind of criticism ? >> I meet them all the time. All they do is smile and shake hands and want to take a selfie. >>> So you don't have to actually defend yourself in any way ? >> Instead of the criticism it's the apparatus power at the defend myself from. We all face the apparatus power right now. I am going to stand here and make a stand. I will not back down. That is why I'm here. That is why I speak more. I will not be shut down I will not shut up. >>> Let me ask you a question about WikiLeaks. We learned a lot more about WikiLeaks now because it has become clear that WikiLeaks has become a conduit for Russian intelligence. Do you think that's changed since the time you used it? >> I am not a part of them. I was just a source. I cannot control an organization. I don't want to get into this debate. I have no control over that. I can only control what I do and what I am focused on is the problems that are facing us right now in front of us. This is coming from the police state. This is what I'm faced -- focusing on right now. I can't change what happened in 2010. I can change what I do right now. We should question the intentions of organizations like the FBI and the NSA. These organizations are nefarious entities. They are bad institutions. They need to be stripped of their powers. They need to be not given more leeway to do these horrible things that they do. >>> I want to clarify do you think that the CIA and the NSA and the FBI, do you think they are wrong about WikiLeaks association with Russia ? >> They are wrong about a lot of things. I'm not focusing on one thing. These are nefarious institutions that will try to control everything about society. We are not doing anything about that. I don't want to get into a narrow debate about one topic. I want to talk about the surveillance state rebuilt. I want to talk about the fact that we are deporting more people we've ever deported before. I will talk about the fact that we are essentially wrapping up for an athletic -- ethnic cleaning in America. >>> I don't want to wrangle you on this, I just want to know what you think about WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is the entity that became a household name largely because of your association with that. I'm wondering if now you are thinking well what is this place really trying to do. Is it really trying to open? >> I don't care. I don't care about this debate and this disgusting desk at discussion it is distracting from what we should be focusing on. >>> Mark Zuckerberg is testifying tomorrow in front of Congress about privacy concerns and the attempted election meddling. What should he do do you think ? >> We should listen more to people who are talking about this in the field. People are talking about the dangers of these algorithms. The media, the mainstream media is more focused on this horse race between figures and this partisan battle. But people are being harmed by the systems every day. This isn't just about what happened in 2016. This is about what is happening right now and how the companies are manipulating and controlling us. >>> How do we make these more democratic? How do we democratize the algorithms? >> You cannot. You cannot expect the algorithms to sort themselves out. You cannot democratize an algorithm. What you can do is you can say that these are limits we want to place on them, these are who should have access to them. You can't just have companies controlling us based on these things because they have an incentive not to democratize it. And I'm using air quotes there. you cannot expect people to fix the Systems. You have to do it ourselves. >>> I've been speaking with Chelsea Manning. She will give a talk tonight on national security and democracy, artificial intelligence and resistance in the age of AI activism and protest and the intersection of technology and people's lives at San Diego State University beginning at 5 PM. Thank you so much, Chelsea Manning.

Chelsea Manning has emerged from court-martial, years of imprisonment and vicious criticism for everything from her Wikileaks disclosures to her gender transition. And she has not retreated into a quiet life.

Manning was convicted by court-martial in 2013 for leaking classified information about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as confidential U.S. Department of State messages. She was sentenced to 35 years in prison, but President Obama commuted her sentence in 2017.

Manning now is traveling the country as a public speaker. She is also running against U.S. Senator Ben Cardin in Maryland's Democratic primary. Manning is appearing at San Diego State University Monday night, giving a talk ranging from national security to resistance in the age of artificial intelligence.

Manning joins KPBS Midday Edition on Monday to explain what that resistance could look like and confronting criticism that she betrayed her country.