I read a rather frightening news article and wanted to tell you about it. Have you heard about Deepfakes?
I urge you to read the Deepfakes Are Going To Wreak Havoc On Society by Rob Toews, a Contributor to Forbes in the area of Artificial Intelligence.
As his tagline says, "I write about the big picture of artificial intelligence."
Briefly, the article begins with a description of a State Farm TV commercial that has since become one of the most widely discussed ads in recent memory.
The ad appeared to show footage from 1998 of an ESPN analyst making shockingly accurate predictions about the year 2020.
The truth is, the video clip was NOT genuine. It was generated using cutting-edge AI.
Toews says, "The commercial surprised, amused and delighted viewers. What viewers should have felt, though, was deep concern."
The State Farm ad was an example of a dangerous new phenomenon in Artificial Intelligence called deepfakes.
Deepfake technology can be used by anyone with a computer and an Internet connection to create realistic-looking photos and even videos of people saying and doing things that they did NOT actually say or do.
History of Deepfake
The word, deepfake, is a comibination of phrases, deep learning + fake = deepfake.
They first appeared on the Internet in late 2017 and were powered by an innovative new "deep learning method" called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs).
Several deepfake videos have gone viral, and you may not even realize you were reacting with outrage at videos that were FAKES!
Examples: President Obama using an expletive to describe President Trump. Never happened.
Mark Zuckerberg admitting Facebook's true goal is to manipulate and exploit its users. Nope. Not real.
Bill Hader morphing into Al Pacino on a late-night talk show. Amusing, but you probably knew that was a result of video graphic technology.
Deepfake content online is growing exponentially. In 2019, there were almost 8,000 deepfake videos online. Nine months later, there were almost 15,000.
An interesting point is that deepfakes were first used in porn. So if you've ever seen a famous person in porn, think again if you believe they were really in a porn video!
Experts say is you look closely, you can tell, but I can't. Can you? Technology is advancing every day so pretty soon, no one will be able to tell.
Do you see the way Deepfakes can divide the country? They could change the outcome of an election. They could conceivably start a war!
The ramifications are frightening. They distort the truth, increase the divide between political groups, and undermine the safety and security of the people and the government.
In the article by Toews, he quotes Hani Farid, one of the world's leading experts on deepfakes: “If we can't believe the videos, the audios, the image, the information that is gleaned from around the world, that is a serious national security risk.”
Please read the article Deepfakes Are Going To Wreak Havoc On Society by Rob Toews.
I can see why the late genius Stephen Hawking said in 2014, "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."