Could deepfakes weaken democracy? | The Economist

Democracy is easy It’s like stealing ice cream from a baby I genuinely love the process of manipulating people online for money We just want to predict your future behaviours These videos are all deepfakes Synthesised content created using artificial intelligence Fake, fake, disgusting news Deepfakes will make for even more complicated arguments… …about what is fake news and what is real And if seeing is no longer believing… …the very real question is… …could deepfakes weaken democracy? Democracy just doesn’t work if people don’t believe in it So the deepfake artworks used artificial intelligence… …and machine-learning technologies to kind of hack… …the bodies if you like, of famous celebrity influencers Bill Posters is the artist behind these deepfake videos… …known as the Spectre Project Spectre is almost too powerful to comprehend Two of the main questions we wanted to explore… …with the Spectre Project is what does it feel like when… …our personal data is used in unexpected ways… …by powerful tech companies and how as a result can… …that change our understandings of today To test Facebook’s response, Bill posted the deepfake videos on Instagram… …a social-media platform owned by Facebook The company downgraded the videos’ visibility Spectre showed me how to manipulate you into sharing intimate data… …about yourself and all those you love for free But that didn’t stop this fake clip of Facebook boss… …Mark Zuckerberg, going viral That showed the potential… …for spreading disinformation online through deepfakes A danger that’s likely to increase… …as long as tech companies and politicians remain unsure how to deal with it The power of deepfakes is an area of great concern… …whilst these technologies exist in what is essentially… …a regulatory black hole Image manipulation is already exploited by autocratic regimes It’s a dark art that goes back to Joseph Stalin… …who made his enemies disappear AI today is capable of making deepfake videos like this… …where comedian Bill Hader morphs into Tom Cruise As the technology advances… …the danger is that deepfakes will be used… …to mislead voters in democratic countries If you take away those tools that enable us to… …be able to sort out what’s real from what’s not… …you make very poor decisions Aviv Ovadya is the founder of Thoughtful Technology Project He worries about another problem… …that deepfakes could be used as an excuse… …to help politicians escape scrutiny You have the corrupt politician being able to say… …“oh yeah that video of me—that was fake” That brings us into a world where people won’t know what they can trust He believes the ultimate threat from deepfakes could be that… …more and more people opt out of democratic politics A phenomenon he calls “reality apathy” Reality apathy is when it’s so hard to make sense of what’s happening People just sort of give up Democracy just doesn’t work if people don’t believe in it So what can be done to fight back? A group of scientists at Cambridge University are having a go They have developed a computer game… …to teach people how to spot disinformation So in the game people essentially step into the shoes… …of a fake news producer… …and you build your way up to a fake news empire… …by spreading fake content online Dr Sander van der Linden, the game’s designer… …believes it will help people to distinguish fact from fiction So your goal is to get as many followers as possible… …while maintaining your online credibility So you can’t be too ridiculous And the first badge in the game… …is about impersonating other people online And of course one example that we’ve talked about is deepfakes So in the game we test people before and after… …and at the beginning we found that people are duped… …by a lot of these techniques but once they played the game… …they’ve become resistant and are able to identify them later on Dr van der Linden’s team have drawn inspiration… …from preventative medicine in their hunt to cure fake news So just as you inject someone with a severely weakened dose… …of a virus to trigger antibodies in the immune system… …you can do the same with information People can essentially create mental antibodies… …and become immune against fake news And essentially everyone is their own bullshit detector Today I’m president, not because I’m the greatest… …though probably I am Deepfake technology means that faking videos… …is becoming as easy as faking words and photos Until people learn to look at video with a more critical eye… …there’s a danger that deepfakes could be used to undermine democracy

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Those are not deepfake . Deepfake is trump speaking rationally. Other are just same just speaking what they mean in their heart.

  2. if those deepfakes can be used to weaken democracy, is it because deepfakes are too good? or the democracy itself is too weak?

  3. NAH!!!…the GOP/PIMP-putin
    ………….Installing a DAUGHTER F$CKIN CHILD MOLESTER as president is kinda destructive?

  4. ……………10/17/19……………………………….."The president is attacking America."
    Retired Admiral William McRaven
    ………………………………..Navy SEAL, Commander SOCOM (killed Bin Laden), Commander JSOC

  5. I haven’t had much trouble so far spotting the fake videos (aka deep fakes). It’s ok if for humor and you know it but if df gets to be better it may pose a problem.
    Society may need to make df with malicious intent some kind of crime.
    I already see a lot of people with information burnout or reality apathy in comments.

  6. Elderly populations with impaired vision are extremely vulnerable to being manipulated by deep-fakes. And they vote in large numbers. This technology needs to be outlawed.

  7. Hmmm, I saw an interview yesterday with bitch Hillary Clinton stating it was much easier when there were 3 networks to control what people thought and thus control actions.

    …Hmmm…. Economist…Any thoughts…?

    As an intuitive empath I can say more people have the capacity to feel lies, deceit, and disinformation via our nervous system….and what's more…the elites shudder at us types!

    Forward this to that piece of shit Rothschild…he knows about us, trust me, HE DOES!

  8. Are we a nation of laws and constitutional rights

    If so then we can not allow this corrupt president and administration to continue

    Impeach this president remove this president and his administration

    If not then sit back all hell is about to by break loose let the carnage begin

    i want Kentucky i will get justice if carnage is what this gop wants so be it

    Personally i would rather see civil reality but it seems putin has taken our nation just as he did Georgia Maldova and parts of the Ukraine is civil war really what the gop wants

    On a serious note there’s an armed chinese American in every shopping center and strip mall across America the second amendment made this a reality

    The American Chinese are a militia and you dont really believe china would just sit back and watch Russia or putin take America

    Racism and populist have no place in America

    Honor our constitution or face the reality

  9. Problem being, humans are actually very clever and we pick up on incredible subtlety. These clearly are fake. They just don’t make it past the highly sophisticated radar.

    When people’s words don’t match their actions repeatedly, even a banana could have the clues to call sociopath. Psychopaths are even easier to sniff out, you just need to canvas ex friends, estranged family members and ex spouses.

    Evil people always leave a trail of destruction. It’s pretty hard to stitch up a genuinely decent human being and have it stick.

  10. Mental anti-body really sounds like brainwashing propaganda.. believe what I tell you is true, don’t believe what others may tell you is true.. Hillary is always good, Trump is always bad, support democrats, hate republicans no matter what happens… we have to go back to re-evaluate the scientific method and how it can be implemented today instead of falling for populist propaganda like the messages in this video. The economist is such a failed media output.

  11. Economist once u see propaganda you know propaganda it is the ULTIMATE form of fake. The use of psychology and learn how to manipulate people by using emotions and consciousness….however you cannot fool intuition especially when the pineal gland/3rd eye is fully open…😊

  12. Simple Solution:
    Need a new platform alternative to YouTube, that can only upload live video using camera and has no option to upload anything from anywhere.

  13. Deep fakes will fill our media and AI will flood comments sections, knowing what is real and who is human online will become impossible.

    When we get to that point it's time to kill the internet for the future of humanity.

  14. How making people to believe in what is not true undermines democracy? Most people believe in existance of unexistent god, and it does not undermine democracy.

  15. So people who have access to this education to understand deep fakes are going to be good, what about others ? If most of the people doesn't get what's true then it will be a war a a few people to control truth.

  16. The idea of creating a game to solve deep fakes is flawed. All it takes is to train a GAN with the data used to train people partaking in the game to create even better deep fakes. The best approach to combating deep fakes is to use the same neural network structure that generated the Deep Fakes to detect the Deep Fakes. Train a GAN with only Deep Fakes with the purpose of detection.

  17. Deepfakes created so people can get away with their crimes
    And so people question the photos. Of people like prince Andrew with his arms around young girls etc
    Funny the Rothschild economist magazine are bringing this up
    But don't worry you can tell the difference but we will be lied to anyway if the perp is wealthy and connected
    Fake news is the mainstream properganda channels that choose what we see and don't see that in itself often avoiding showing people revolting against corrupted official s govt etc
    Yellow vests are not really reported on by mainstream

  18. This is being too dramatic. Text and photos have been around for long time and we have ways to find out fake from real. Fake videos are relatively new which shocks everyone. Given some time, it will be possible to detect fake from real. Probably using AI itself.

  19. No need for deep fake. It's ridiculous already. In Canada voters make up their minds based on which candidate has the nicest family photo.

  20. "Play my bullshit game, I'm not going to tell you how it works and don't worry, my biases, won't magically become your bias. I'm definitely not trying to manipulate you!"

  21. it's clearly invasion of privacy, but without any educated journalism to identify it as such. Rather, it could jeopardize democracy? Let's develop this fear more, says (paraphrasing the doomsday worriers).

    I get the feeling this is treating a neglected history of illusions as a media vaccine against itself. Only the deeply naive will (or should) probably stay deeply naive (for resisting real understanding and honesty). A simple anarchy detector is applicable. Do you believe reality is real? If so, good for you, have a nice day. If not, thinking and caring too much may be required, and you will explain yourself (much like being interrogated, arbitrarily endlessly).

    We, in the states, call it "helicopter parenting," or obsessing over the health or happiness of people likely ten times smarter. Of course, if those people (the think-and-care-too-much culture) mistake intellectual authority for galactic commandments, who knows, the end of helicopter parenting?

  22. Deepfakes are good for comedy.
    Reforms help to improve the democracy, if the deepfakes slow down the reform process, then they hurt the democracy.

    Deepfakes about dictators might be more useful thou 🙂

  23. Learning to tell the difference is futile. Image manipulation tech will just get better and better. We can’t ask the global population to keep up with these tactics. Seems like someone needs to develop a technology to pick up these manipulations, like an anti virus software but for images.

  24. A valid concern. Though mostly scaremongering, as there is no current evidence of it occurring on even a minor level, much less on a level that might 'weaken democracy'.

  25. So the networks lie all the time… we should accept their deepfakes as truth, but not other deepfakes. The government, nor big corporations have any business censoring what's true or false, we can watch it and decide ourselves.

  26. The computer game is doomed to fail its objective. It's like trying to teach the whole population how to spot someone who's mentally sick among them.

  27. Deepfakes can serve to polarise the public. There may be less moderates as a result but should not diminish democracy.
    However, the very same tool may swing the public to the middle just because nothing can be trusted.

  28. Look at the death of Yugoslavia documentary politicians blamed videos of them to be deepfakes back in the early 90s and claimed that technology is advanced enough for those fakes to be made. They were prophets

  29. From photography's earliest roots, folk have created "fake" content in the form of Hollywood movies. This ability to stage or fabricate content isn't new, although DeepFakes has made it easier. You wouldn't accept a random clip on youtube of superman as proof that people can fly in real life, so why would anyone believe one of these deep fakes? The solution is what it's always been, credible sourcing. You need to know who created a video and whether they are trustworthy before you trust it as fact.

  30. "So How to fight back ?" :
    well, sure it is not with a game. Fucking terrible idea. The point is: Digitalisation killed democracy. And because of the recent China's success, probably the masses will go for communist revolutions. At the end the rich who was using social midia to manipulate will be destroyed. Mark my words.

  31. Like Howard Beale said televisions is full of illusions and lies we will tell you any shit that you want to see or hear 🤔 Network 1976 where in a lot of trouble!!!! I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore

  32. Not to worry. In the future anything published without public key cryptography will not be trusted or considered a fraud.

    Not to worry my libertarian friends, there will be plenty of ‘private’ chains’ that will offer anonymity but trust will be minimised in such forums.

    Reputation and trust will be more important than ever.

    It will be much harder to publish ‘fake news’

  33. “Democracy just doesn’t work if people don’t believe in it” so deep man…..what government works if you don’t believe in it

  34. This video is spot-on, bravo. When we can no longer trust what our own senses tell us — we have lost control of our reality. "Reality Apathy", as he calls it, encapsulates the phenomena perfectly. @ 3:45

  35. Well pretty much everyone in politics and media were already just actors. Now it will be voiceover actors, too. Wouldnt be surprised if they're already using this tech to a degree.

  36. Fuck yeah now we understanding look Victor TECOMALMAN Senior and Mini pig The youngest kid Vane can we dissapear her pretry please like have someone abduct her and sell her to sex slavery mafia or have her murder and the body dissapear please

  37. What you want for that Victor TECOMALMAN be fired and beat up like he recovers from one and the we beat em up like that for three months I heard you want a war fuck it lets do it but far away from Europe, and the USA and not in MX that will fuck up.our.bull market in the USA

  38. Well I was about the Canel on the Tehuantepec zone but i think JP Morgan, City Group and Bbva have it already but who knows is a HUGE PROJECT we might more then one contractor cuz there will be trains, Hi speed trains, bigger hi ways, airports, smaller ports we can make workshops along the strip you know make it a special economical zone TAX FREE OH YEAH

  39. People behave as if the technology is the problem, when in fact it is the people that are the problem, and their misuse of the technology.
    Exactly like the use of Einstein's discovery if nuclear energy to create atomic bombs instead of using it as an alternative source of electricity.

  40. 1:23 unless the video team is massively incompetent, that's the deepfake because the audio is not coming from the mic he's wearing.

  41. Just make a protocol that need the Interviewee wave their hand slowly before to their face to make sure the interview sure legit.

  42. Thank you so much for the important awareness of this topic. People should learn how to really believe and choose their path.

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