What Digital Doping Means for Esports–and Everything Else

October 16, 2020

(Wired) – The factors that conspired to enable robo-doping that March day—fast internet speeds, cloud-based platforms, connected devices, algorithms, automation systems, bots—also power our day-to-day lives. Outside of esports, we’ve already seen how easily algorithms can be manipulated. In order to steer people away from their neighborhoods, people reported fake traffic accidents on Waze. At Reagan National Airport near Washington, DC, Uber and Lyft drivers have simultaneously gone offline for a few minutes to trick the platforms into thinking no drivers were available, resulting in surge pricing. Last year, a deepfake video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying “Whoever controls the data controls the future” went viral on the night of Congressional hearings. Robo-doping is just the latest iteration of these virtual manipulations—and it’s not difficult to imagine how similar tactics might impact workplaces and schools next.