In Brad Taylor’s American Traitor, the People’s Republic of China takes center stage, using artificial intelligence and deepfakes to influence world events.
Taylor, who spent twenty one years in the U.S. military, with eight years as a member of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment Delta, writes like he has a crystal ball at his desk.
From the get go, it’s obvious that Taylor does his homework. There’s no spoiler in saying that American Traitor deals with a mole working for China. And with the 152 public cases of Chinese-linked espionage directed at the U.S. since the year 2000, Taylor’s message couldn’t be more timely.
While Strike Source could have a lengthy discussion about the unstoppable force that is Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill, or how Jennifer kills one of the bad guys with a corkscrew, we won’t.
Instead, Strike Source will cover how Taylor talks about deepfakes and China.
With American Traitor, Taylor shows how deepfakes could lead to a geopolitical nightmare on the world stage. Deepfakes — real-life videos manipulated by artificial intelligence algorithms — can make a person look like they are saying something they have no record of saying.
Perhaps even more concerning is findings from the Winter Conference on Applications of Computer Vision in January 2021. At the conference, computer scientists showed the technology to detect deepfakes can be beaten. Science Daily reported that, “Researchers showed detectors can be defeated by inserting inputs called adversarial examples into every video frame. The adversarial examples are slightly manipulated inputs which cause artificial intelligence systems such as machine learning models to make a mistake.”
Also, according to multiple reports, deepfakes are already being used to commit fraud. As a result, people could see banks increasing security measures when it comes to identify verification.
Clearly, Taylor understands deepfakes aren’t just something fun to write about a thriller novel, but pose a significant concern for people living in an ever increasing digital world.
In American Traitor, Taylor lays out how China is throwing tons of money and resources into the artificial intelligence game. And that isn’t just good fiction. China aims to the number one innovation center for artificial intelligence by 2030.
Just this month, China’s Origin Quantum Computing Technology reported it first operating system for quantum computers, which are tens of millions of times faster than your desktop computer.
In a July 2020 speech, FBI Director Christopher Wray said of China’s technological ambitions. “To achieve its goals and surpass America, China recognizes it needs to make leaps in cutting-edge technologies. But the sad fact is that instead of engaging in the hard slog of innovation, China often steals American intellectual property and then uses it to compete against the very American companies it victimized—in effect, cheating twice over. They’re targeting research on everything from military equipment to wind turbines to rice and corn seeds.”
In American Traitor, China does exactly what Wray says, using U.S. built-tech to target the weapon systems of a U.S. ally.
Again, Taylor really does his homework, which makes American Traitor more than a literary adrenaline rush. Strike Source sees it more as a warning about what the future could look like with China’s continued pursuit for power in the world of artificial intelligence and emerging technologies.
And yes, go buy the book.