As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we depend almost entirely on donations from people like you.
We really need your help to continue this work! Please consider making a donation.
Subscribe here and join over 13,000 subscribers to our free weekly newsletter

From fake news to fabricated video, can we preserve our shared reality?
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Christian Science Monitor

Christian Science Monitor, February 22, 2018
Posted: March 5th, 2018

People tend to trust video evidence as an arbiter of truth. But that faith could soon become quaint, as machine learning is enabling ordinary users to create fabricated videos of just about anyone doing just about anything. Earlier this month, the popular online forum Reddit shut down r/deepfakes, a subreddit discussion board devoted to using open-source machine-learning tools to insert famous faces into pornographic videos. This episode represents just one of the many ways that the this technology could fuel social problems, particularly in an age of political polarization. Combating the negative effects of fabricated video will require a shift among both news outlets and news consumers. When you see something, or when you believe that youre seeing something and hearing something, it has a much more visceral impact ... than when its something that youre just reading about, says Henry Farrell, a professor of political science. Professor Farrell warned that this technologys implications for democracy are eye-opening, in a Feb. 4 New York Times op-ed. Democracy assumes that its citizens share the same reality, the op-ed concluded. Were about to find out whether democracy can be preserved when this assumption no longer holds. When mixed with confirmation bias the tendency to process information in a way that conforms to ones preexisting beliefs [the technology] could become an increasingly destructive social influence, one that corrodes even good-faith efforts to tell the truth.

Note: Read more about producing fake video with machine learning programs. While governments have long been developing technologies to produce very convincing illusions, and it has become trivial to edit video footage of a person talking to change their words and facial expressions, this emerging technology makes it possible to manipulate mass media in previously impossible ways.

Latest News

Key News Articles from Years Past