While it may be technologically interesting to figure out how to fine tune artificial intelligence to take a single image of say the Mona Lisa and then render it into a convincing deepfake video that fools the human eye… it’s also incredibly dangerous technology.
What we’re now seeing over this last month with these deepfake videos of the Mona Lisa are nothing more than the parading of a new weapon that is getting honed to a level that’s specific goal is to trick the human eye (and computers as well). Thanks to many, including a Samsung AI unit in Moscow.
Deepfake re-animations have officially hit a dangerous tipping point in society, because we can no longer believe anything we see or hear on a screen anymore, and so much of peoples’ lives are on screens. So two vital senses that humans have used to gauge reality are now permanently unreliable as of this month, rendering them useless when looking at a screen and attempting to judge reality.
There of course will be many business applications for this technology, especially in entertainment, but it’s clear especially in a week where a rudimentary slow-motion video of Nancy Pelosi is causing controversy that the ramifications of re-animation videos is a huge net negative for society.
As technologists learn to further trick our human senses of seeing and hearing with greater and greater precision, we humans are going to be stripped of our basic tools of understanding the things around us in this digital era. Our judgment to discern what’s real and what’s fake onscreen is going away quickly, and more and more screens are going up.
When reading about, watching the videos and then thinking about all of the possibilities, my mind immediately jumped to re-animations of political videos creating political strife, incriminating videos being used for convictions, and a whole host of other damaging applications (like the altering of historical videos for political reasons).
I really can’t understand why there isn’t more concern over this technology, because the downside seems so great compared to the upside. In a digital world where reality is completed blurred with fiction, how are we supposed to believe what we see and hear? Like all weapons, there’s no turning back because the technology is out there… the genie is officially out of the bottle.
So for the record, anything you hear or see me do digitally can not be trusted, and should not be used against me. 🙁
By David Bramante
On May 27, 2019