VIRAL FALSE NARRATIVES

Daily Post 1341

VIRAL FALSE NARRATIVES

The technology for the creation of deepfakes is being discussed over and over again, the capability to hoodwink both human eyes and brain. ”The focus on the technology behind fake media obscures more pressing questions about the psychology and sociology of the viral false narratives.” The perverse ecosystem allows for blatant disinformation to be used as political tool. AI’s ability to create high-resolution fake images and video is a matter of only secondary concern. Creating AI enabled believable synthetic videos, to imitate facial movements of a President, to swap faces in faked porn; all these demonstrate the exponential pace of technology engulfing the world.

These supposedly path breaking advances has made it easy to forget the historical record of doctored and deceptive media. The dealers in disinformation, a very old trade, have been manipulating video and audio long before the present onset of the Deepfake Age. AI has merely been a new tool in the already variegated tool box. ”As the White House demonstrated when it recently shared a sped-up video suggesting that a CNN reporter Jim Costa assaulted an intern, creating a deceptive video can be as easy pressing a fast-forward button.

Cost and complexity of technology can always be a dampener. How much of market would be there for sophisticated deepfakes is still not known? These products are beyond market surveys. The Russian social media manipulation project executed during the 2016 Presidential elections leveraged simple, rough-and-ready techniques with little technological sophistication. ”Peddlers of disinformation want to spread most disinformation possible at the lowest possible cost.” A simple photoshop at times is found to be serving the purpose. The machine learning behind the deepfake technology which needs significant data, computing power, and specialised expertise and thus much more expensive by comparison is not of much greater advantage.

What the fact checking community would do with the deepfakes as and when it becomes a malaise of concern is not known. Suffice to say, if technology becomes infallible, we know for sure it would still be developed by fallible human propagandists. ”Chasing down eye witnesses, weighing corroborating evidence, and verifying the purported facts” etc would finally beat the wheat out of the chaff. Human investigative skills will prevail.

DEEP FAKES ARE THE PRODUCTS OF A PERVERSE ECOSYSTEM.

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