(GS3: Science and Technology)
- They are digital media-video, audio, and images edited and manipulated using Artificial Intelligence.
- Cloud computing, public research AI algorithms, abundant data and availability of vast media have provided the option to manipulate the media. This synthetic media content is referred to as deepfakes.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Generated Synthetic media or deepfakes have benefits in certain areas such as accessibility, education, film production, criminal forensics, and artistic expression.
Impact of Deepfakes- Who are the Victims:
- Pornography: According to a sensity.ai, 96% of deepfakes are pornographic videos, with over 135 million views on pornographic websites alone.
- Deepfake pornography exclusively targets women. Pornographic deepfakes can threaten, intimidate, and inflict psychological harm.
- Tarnishing the Individual Image: Deepfake can depict a person as indulging in antisocial behaviors and saying vile things that they never did.
- Social Harm: Deepfakes can also cause short-term and long-term social harm and accelerate the already declining trust in traditional media. Such erosion can contribute to a culture of factual relativism, fraying the increasingly strained civil society fabric.
- Threat to Public Safety: Deepfake could act as a powerful tool by a malicious nation-state to undermine public safety. Deepfakes can undermine trust in institutions and diplomacy.
- Use by Terrorist Organizations: Deepfakes can be used by non-state actors, such as insurgent groups and terrorist organisations, to show their adversaries as making inflammatory speeches or engaging in provocative actions to stir anti-state sentiments among people.
- Promotes Fake News: Another concern from deepfakes is the liar’s dividend; an undesirable truth is dismissed as deepfake or fake news.
- Leaders may weaponize deepfakes and use fake news and alternative-facts narrative to dismiss an actual piece of media and truth.
- Way Forward against Deepfakes
- Ensure Media Literacy: Media literacy efforts must be enhanced to cultivate a discerning public.
- Collaborative Regulatory mechanism: We also need meaningful regulations with a collaborative discussion with the technology industry, civil society, and policymakers to develop legislative solutions to disincentivising the creation and distribution of malicious deepfakes.
- Mass Campaign against Deepfakes: To counter the menace of deepfakes, we all must take the responsibility to be critical consumers of media on the Internet, think and pause before we share on social media, and be part of the solution to this ‘infodemic’.