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Thread: A major AI threat : "Deepfake" programs creating "alternative realities".

  1. #1 A major AI threat : "Deepfake" programs creating "alternative realities". 
    Forum Sophomore Double Helix's Avatar
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    Dec 2020
    While deepfake images and videos have been around for a number of years, their sophistication has risen to an alarming level. New programs can use a real image of anyone (and probably anything) to create images where the target(s) do anything you want them to do (1), and they look just as real as they are fake. These can appear as a snap-shot or video. Deepfake technology has the potential to dramatically distort all things we see on TV and the Internet. Even audio is up for deepfaking. And it gives a whole new meaning to the term "fake news". To be sure, we run the risk of seeing nothing but fake news.

    This could represent a major threat almost anywhere you can think of. It could alter the perception of many people, about many other people, for countless nefarious reasons. And such activities are already on-going. One of the most notorious was a deepfake audio phone call that swindled a company out of $243,000 (2). It could also alter the "reality" of world events, simply by bad actors wanting to manipulate world opinion, or that of a localized group of people.

    The threat is so significant it has worked its way into the people at the Pentagon, who usually take such things very seriously (3). One can only imagine what the limits and capabilities of deepfake technology really are. The most horrific result could conceivably start a global thermonuclear exchange. A "Skynet scenario" is not likely a credible threat from AI. But people working with deepfakes are a real and present danger.

    Criminal applications are endless (as the one noted above) - from scamming CEOs and individuals to major swindles involving billions of dollars. But the biggest threats may involve global players. We should all be hoping the major powers understand the nature of this threat to world peace, and take the appropriate measures to prevent extreme events. However, it might seem more likely that some will use it in attempts to gain an advantage.

    Deepfakes could allow for "plausible deniability" by any belligerent in a given situation. Clearly the ability of hostile foreign intelligence and military assets to use such technology should not be taken lightly. It would seem that deepfakes are here to stay. We should all be aware of their enormous potential.



    "Detecting deepfakes - Los Alamos National Laboratory"


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