Whilst reading about the latest, easy to use, Deep Fake app I am even more concerned about the little things those Deep Fakes will screw up. You know… like the upcoming US presidential election. I mean… it’s already hard enough for some Americans to figure out who’s lying or pushing an extremist agenda on any side of the political spectrum. I have gone on about this very thing before but it deserves another mention as the apps keep improving.
Now in as little as 8 seconds (eight seconds… let that sink in), you can replace the face of well-known actors like Leonardo DiCaprio with your face… or anyone’s face that you upload. Now, this app is limited in its reach as it only allows you to use video clips that come with the app.
While I’m a naïve farm boy… I’m not THAT naïve. This app may be limited to a few self-contained clips, but it demonstrates there is tech is out there that can do far more damage to credibility than this little AI engine demonstrates.
How easy is it in the internet age to grab a national or international news organizations logo? Then slap it on a Deep Fake manifesto of an elected official praising the most horrible things imaginable!
For the younger generation… which might be our saviors in this case… it's possible they are tech-savvy enough to combat this but what about Mom and Dad or… the grandparents that don’t even use a computer let alone a smartphone? Some internet clips make it to mainstream media.
What’s more troubling is pondering which of these groups is more likely to actually vote in an election? The answer is obvious and scary.
When the older generation of voters can no longer depend on what they see in terms of who is really in the video then the misinformation just gets worse. All we must do is look back at the last US Presidential election to see how thoroughly US voters were propagandized by bad actors around the world.
I’d be surprised if we don’t already have a Deep Fake detection squad or department(s) in existence or the process of forming in our respective governing bodies.
I can see the teaser now: NCIS: Deep Fake Forensics, 9 pm EDT every Monday and Thursday evening!
If this whole Deep Fake thing keeps on its current trajectory Deep Fake Forensics will become a real thing.
One thing we should keep in mind is… AI got us into this Deep Fake mess and AI can get us out of it too. Or at least help us combat it with tools that intelligently seek out and alter such videos tagging them as Deep Fakes. In a worst-case scenario, AI-driven tech could be unleashed to hunt down and destroy such videos but privacy and personal protections are at risk in that scenario.
Deep Fake sleuthing will be the next private detective type of employment also. Intellectual Property disputes will evolve from Deep Fakes as they are derivative by their very nature. If an IP protected video is used as the basis of a Deep Fake then it would seem the owner of the IP could have a claim of infringement. This will lead to investigation and fact-finding… hence Deep Fake Detectives will be a real thing at Career Day in the not so distant future.
With the upcoming elections in the United States and other parts of the world, we might need to be more careful with our sources of news and information. Even though there is no evidence that Thomas Jefferson uttered the following “quote” … perhaps it holds true just the same;
The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance.
M.D. McCallum, aka WarLord, is an international award-winning commercial graphics artist, 3D animator, published author, project director, and webmaster with a freelance career that spans over 20 years. Now retired, M.D. is currently working part-time on writing and select character development projects. You can learn more about MD on his website.