A new artificial intelligence technology called “deepfake” may be the next big threat we face, as we are still battling current cyber security breaches and are faced with the 2020 elections.
The Deepfakes tech got its start in the entertainment world and is fast becoming a fixture of dirty politics. The term “deepfake” began circulating in 2017 and is basically an effect wherein you can put someone else’s head on another person’s body to fake out the viewer.
Of late, it has become more sophisticated and has expanded from photography to video. Deepfakes can now substitute false speech with real video footage. This means we can’t always be sure whether what we are seeing is real or fake. This disturbing technology will continue to spread. Its use is still relatively infrequent, but the day may come when we won’t be able to tell what is real any longer — and it could come soon.
As AI technology gets better, it may become impossible to depend on anything we see — and there are no specific laws to protect us from this yet. We always have counted on our senses to understand the world around us — sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. The existence of deepfakes means we no longer can depend on our senses.
Over time it’s likely that we will develop new AI technology to identify and label deepfakes, but until then we are on our own. That means as a society we are susceptible. We must be very careful not to fall victim to deepfake manipulation. In the 2020 Presidential campaign, we should expect deepfakes to play a large role. They will be circulating online, and they will spur comments from both sides, even though they are only make-believe.
Deepfakes pose a great danger to each and every one of us, no matter where we are on the political spectrum.