We’re underestimating the mind-warping potential of fake video

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"Seeing is believing. And because of this fact, we’re screwed.

Due to advances in artificial intelligence, it’s now possible to convincingly map anyone’s face onto the body of another person in a video.

In April, BuzzFeed published a demonstration featuring the actor and director Jordan Peele. Using FakeApp, the same tool used in the celebrity face-swapping porn, BuzzFeed took an old video of President Obama and swapped in Peele’s mouth as he performed an impression of Obama. It’s a creepily powerful PSA with a forceful message: “This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet.”"

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"Deepfake video is here, now. With it comes the relatively easy ability to make anyone say anything you like on video. Post that video on the Internet and you have a very powerful way to disseminate credible disinformation to the world. The technology uses facial mapping and artificial intelligence to create realistic videos—so real that it’s virtually impossible to spot the fakes.

The name “deepfake” is a portmanteau of AI-powered “deep learning” and “fake.” Apparently, it surfaced in 2017 on Reddit. It’s already been used (or misused) to create pornographic videos of famous movie stars that have never starred in such films. It would not surprise me to see this technology misused in the US mid-term elections this fall. Certainly, we’ll be seeing more deepfake video—a lot more—by the time the next US presidential election rolls around in 2020."

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