InSecurity
Ron Jones: The Guy Behind the Bots Behind the Programs
Nov 22, 2019 · 1 hr 5 min
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In the summer of 2017, a group of political activists in the UK figured out how to use Tinder to attract new supporters.

 

They understood how the platform worked and how its users tended to use the app. Most importantly, they understood how Tinder’s algorithms distributed content, so they built a bot to automate flirty exchanges with real people.

 

Over time, those flirty conversations turned to politics—and to the strengths of the U.K.’s Labour Party. The bot would take over a Tinder profile owned by a user sympathetic to the Labour party who agreed to the temporary repurposing of the account.

The bot then sent roughly 40,000 messages, targeting 18- to 25-year-olds where the Labour candidates were running in tight races. While it is impossible to know if any voters were actually swayed by this campaign, what cannot be denied are the results of the election. In several targeted districts, the Labour Party won in tight races.

 

As part of their victory celebrations… some of the winners gave Twitter shoutouts to the Tinder election bot.

 

(This information is courtesy of Philip N. Howard and his article How Political Campaigns Weaponize Social Media Botsfrom IEEE Spectrum; October, 2018)

 

Here’s the thing though… not all Bots are the same. In fact, not unlike most things in the world, the overwhelming amount of Bots perform important, yet perhaps tedious functions that allow people to focus on high-level assignments that truly support agency missions and outcomes.

 

However, automation is not solely about offloading mundane tasks from humans. Instead, this type of technology creates an environment in which humans and technology not only collaborate to accelerate workflow processes but also speeds up decision-making.

 

In this episode of the InSecurity Podcast, Matt Stephenson sits down with Ron Jones, Head of Solutions Architecture at Blue Prism. Ron is a builder of Robotic Process Automation. A mouthful right? You may know them as “Bots” and they are one of the most misunderstood pieces of technology around. Stick around and Ron will help you understand them a little better.

 

About Ron Jones

Ron Jones (@rgjSP) is an experienced leader specializing in enterprise technology strategy and consulting for the public sector. 

Ron currently serves North American Public Sector organizations implementing Blue Prism, the world’s most scalable, secure, and proven intelligent automation platform. 

 

About Blue Prism

Blue Prism (@blue_prism) pioneered Robotic Process Automation (RPA), emerging as the trusted and secure intelligent automation choice for the Fortune 500 and the public sector. They offer a connected-RPA supported by the Digital Exchange (DX) app store—marrying internal entrepreneurship with the power of crowdsourced innovation. Blue Prism’s connected-RPA can automate and perform mission critical processes, allowing people the freedom to focus on creative, meaningful work. More than 1,500 global customers leverage Blue Prism’s Digital Workforce deployed in the cloud or on premises as well as through the company’s Thoughtonomy SaaS offering, empowering organizations to automate billions of transactions while returning hundreds of millions of hours of work back to the business.

 

Blue Prism was recently named to Fast Company’s inaugural list of the Best Workplaces for Innovators – an honor achieved by 50 companies. Blue Prism is the only RPA provider and UK-based company to be recognized.

 

About Matt Stephenson

Insecurity Podcast host Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) leads the Security Technology team at Cylance, which puts him in front of crowds, cameras, and microphones all over the world. He is the regular host of the InSecurity podcast and host of CylanceTV

 

Twenty years of work with the world’s largest security, storage, and recovery companies has introduced Stephenson to some of the most fascinating people in the industry. He wants to get those stories told so that others can learn from what has come

 

Every week on the InSecurity Podcast, Matt interviews leading authorities in the security industry to gain an expert perspective on topics including risk management, security control friction, compliance issues, and building a culture of security. Each episode provides relevant insights for security practitioners and business leaders working to improve their organization’s security posture and bottom line.

 

Can’t get enough of Insecurity? You can find us at ThreatVector InSecurity Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and GooglePlay as well as Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud, I Heart Radio and wherever you get your podcasts!

 

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