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Hackers or state actors could use 'deepfake' medium with devastating consequences

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON - If you see a video of a politician speaking words he never would utter, or a Hollywood star improbably appearing in a cheap adult movie, don't adjust your television set -- you may just be witnessing the future of "fake news." "Deepfake" videos that manipulate reality are becoming more sophisticated due to advances in artificial intelligence, creating the potential for new kinds of misinformation with devastating consequences. As the technology advances, worries are growing about how deepfakes can be used for nefarious purposes by hackers or state actors. "We're not quite to the stage where we are seeing deepfakes weaponized, but that moment is coming," said Robert Chesney, a University of Texas law professor who has researched the topic. Chesney argues that deepfakes could add to the current turmoil over disinformation and influence operations.

Wait, is that video real? The race against deepfakes and dangers of manipulated recordings

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Deepfakes are video manipulations that can make people say seemingly strange things. Barack Obama and Nicolas Cage have been featured in these videos. It used to take a lot of time and expertise to realistically falsify videos. For decades, authentic-looking video renderings were only seen in big-budget sci-fi movies films like "Star Wars." However, thanks to the rise in artificial intelligence, doctoring footage has become more accessible than ever, which researchers say poses a threat to national security.

What Is a Deepfake?


In the opening session of his 2020 introductory course on deep learning, Alexander Amini, a PhD student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), invited a famous guest: former US President Barack Obama. "Deep learning is revolutionizing so many fields, from robotics to medicine and everything in between," said Obama, who joined the class by video conference. After speaking a bit more on the virtues of artificial intelligence, Obama made an important revelation: "In fact, this entire speech and video are not real and were created using deep learning and artificial intelligence." Amini's Obama video was, in fact, a deepfake--an AI-doctored video in which the facial movements of an actor are transferred to that of a target. Since first appearing in 2018, deepfake technology has evolved from hobbyist experimentation to an effective and dangerous tool.

Artificial Intelligence to Weaponize Fake Videos


Deception operations using high-quality fake videos produced with artificial intelligence are the next phase of information warfare operations by nation states aimed at subverting American democracy. Currently, "deepfakes," or human image-synthesized videos, mainly involve the use of celebrity likenesses and voices superimposed on women in porn videos. But the weaponization of deepfakes for political smear campaigns, in commercial operations to discredit businesses, or subversion by foreign intelligence services in disinformation operations is a looming threat. "I believe this is the next wave of attacks against America and Western democracies," said Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Rubio is pushing the U.S. intelligence community to address the danger of deepfake disinformation campaigns from nation states or terrorists before the threat fully emerges.