The following developments in AI have meant that we are on the verge of a very slippery slope indeed for fake news and the attendant chaos, disorder and conflict that this generates in the world.
Fact: With existing technology you can now get a completely fake face generated by AI that looks 100% genuine and real.
See the example here. Keep refreshing the page to see a new face – these people don’t actually exist, they are made up of composites of thousands of different faces. Hard to believe isn’t it?
This open source AI project was initially spearheaded by Elon Musk. But so worried was he about the potential for abuse that he has since left the project.
Fact: With existing technology, one can now completely impersonate someone’s face and mannerisms in a natural way on video using AI
Basically that means anyone with access to this technology can do the voice and mannerisms of Donald Trump or Kim Jong Un in order and then release it online as a public media announcement. The difference between the real and fake video will be completely indistinguishable. The many ways that this could be exploited for illegal gain are huge. Read more.
Fact: With existing technology, one can now generate a completely human-sounding fake news story from a human written paragraph.
Possible future consequences of this technology
- Less optimistic: Armageddon
- More optimistic: The re-emergence of traditional news mediums (TV, radio, printed books) and traditional sources of news media such as the BBC in an effort to combat fake news. The possible return of analogue modes of journalism and communication, because they are more trusted.