The Epitome of “Fake News”
Deepfakes are the epitome of “fake news”. They are the result of altering video and/or audio to portray something different than was intended in the original version… or creates a complete “fairy tale” version of events that are unrelated, in any way, to the original.
It brings “taking things out of context” to a completely new level. Instead of taking things out of context, it takes them out of the stratosphere!
Why are they a problem?
Deepfakes can easily sway public opinion. We tend to believe what we see. One of the uses of Deepfakes is within political campaigns. Deepfakes can be used to portray a candidate in a negative light when the original footage and/or intent could have been completely innocent.
Deepfakes can also be used by the news media to substantiate a completely false narrative by creating fake footage that illustrates purported visual “evidence”.
One of the techniques used is to swap out the head of one person, with another, and sew the two images together, thus making it look as though a person could be guilty of an act of which they are completely innocent. Originally, such footage might have exhibited a slight “jitter” and/or something about the image would seem to be “off” to the viewer, but technology has quickly advanced making it much more difficult to determine the counterfeit images with only the naked eye.
What can we do about it?
The IT industry has begun to create artificial intelligence (AI) that can spot suspected Deepfake media and alert the monitor.
Companies such as Google are actively training their versions of Deepfake-detecting AI to recognize such trickery, although others warn that the processes used to create Deepfakes are becoming much more sophisticated, and advancing almost by the day.
Lawmakers are determining the structure of bills to counter the increasing use of Deepfakes. Texas is one step ahead and has already put political campaign Deepfake laws into effect.
Since writing this blog, deepfakes have immensely improved their level of sophistication, to the point of the naked eye not being able to tell the difference between a fake and the real thing!
The following link is to a Forbes.com article on exactly this topic on May 25, 2020: https://www.forbes.com/sites/robtoews/2020/05/25/deepfakes-are-going-to-wreak-havoc-on-society-we-are-not-prepared/
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