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  • Hello.

  • Today I'm going to be talking to you about a new technology that's affecting famous people.

  • - Remember when Obama called Trump a dipshit? -"Complete dipshit."

  • Or the time Kim Kardashian rapped, "Because I'm always half naked"?

  • Or when Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonated himself?

  • "Get out of there! There's a bomb in there! Get out!"

  • Deepfake. Deepfake. Deepfake.

  • You gotta be kidding!

  • This is a deepfake, too.

  • I'm not Adele.

  • But I am an expert in online manipulation.

  • So deepfakes is a term that is used to describe video or audio files that have been created using artificial intelligence.

  • My favorite is probably Lisa Vanderpump.

  • It started as a very basic face-swapping technology.

  • And now it's turned into film-level CGI.

  • There's been this huge explosion of, "Oh my goodness, we can't trust anything."

  • Yes, deepfakes are eerily dystopian.

  • And they're only going to get more realistic and cheaper to make.

  • But the panic around them is overblown.

  • In fact, the alarmist hype is possibly more dangerous than the technology itself.

  • Let me break this down.

  • First, what everyone is freaking out about is actually not new.

  • It's a much older phenomenon that I like to call the weaponization of context or shallowfakes with Photoshop and video editing software.

  • "There's so many needs . . ."

  • How about the time Nancy Pelosi appeared to be drunk while giving a speech?

  • "But you never know."

  • "with this president of the United States."

  • Turns out that video was just slowed down at 75%.

  • "It was very, very strange."

  • You can have a really simplistic piece of misleading content that can do huge damage.

  • For example, in the lead-up to the midterms, we saw lots of imagery around this caravan of people who were moving towards the U.S.

  • This photo was shared with captions demonizing the so-called migrant caravan at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2018.

  • But a reverse image search showed it was actually Pakistani refugees in Greece.

  • You don't need deepfakes' A.I. technology to manipulate emotions or to spread misinformation.

  • This brings me to my second point.

  • What we should be really worried about is the liar's dividend.

  • The lies and actions people will get away with by exploiting widespread skepticism to their own advantage.

  • So, remember the "Access Hollywood" tape that emerged a few weeks before the 2016 election?

  • "When you're a star, they let you do it."

  • "You can do anything."

  • Around that time, Trump apologized, but then more recently he's actually said, I'm not sure if I actually said that.

  • When anything can be fake, it becomes much easier for the guilty to dismiss the truth as fake.

  • What really keeps me awake at night is less the technology.

  • It's how we as a society respond to the idea that we can't trust what we see or what we hear.

  • So if we are fearmongering, if we are hyperbolic, if we are waving our hands in the air, that itself can be part of the problem.

  • You can see where this road leads.

  • As public trust in institutions like the media, education and elections dwindles, then democracy itself becomes unsustainable.

  • The way that we respond to this serious issue is critical.

  • Partly this is the platforms thinking very seriously about what they do with this type of content, how they label this kind of content.

  • Partly is the public recognizing their own responsibility.

  • And if you don't know 100%, hand on heart, "This is true," please don't share, because it's not worth the risk.


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B1 US TheNewYorkTimes deepfakes technology caravan content trust

Deepfakes: Is This Video Even Real? | NYT Opinion

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    Mackenzie posted on 2019/08/31
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