Don’t Believe Everything You Hear…

…or everything you see, either!

Did you hear about this?

New technology makes it alarmingly easy to make realistic videos of people saying and doing things they’ve never done.”

This is not fake news! It’s apparently true. There is new technology, a sophisticated type of software, that makes it possible to superimpose one person’s face onto another’s body and manipulate voice recordings, creating fake videos that look and sound real.

While Hollywood studios have long used computer-generated imagery (CGI) to create, for example, fleeting appearances of dead actors, the process was prohibitively expensive and laborious. Today, the technology, known as “deepfakes,” has improved so much so that highly realistic visual and audio fakery can be produced by anyone with a powerful home computer.

Apparently deepfakes technology has already sparked an explosion of fake pornography online, with Michelle Obama, Ivanka Trump, and Emma Watson among those most frequently victimized. (I can’t personally corroborate this, but I’m sure if you wish to, you can probably do a Google search for “deepfakes porn” and see for yourself.)

Fears are growing, however, over how else “deepfakes” videos could be used — from smearing politicians in elections to inciting major international conflict.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed created a “public service announcement” warning of the technology’s dangers, with a deepfakes of former President Barack Obama voiced by the comedian and director Jordan Peele.

In that deepfakes, the fake Obama said, “We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything.” To illustrate the point, the fake Obama goes on to call President Trump “a total and complete dipshit.”

This technology uses facial mapping and artificial intelligence to produce videos that appear so genuine it’s hard to spot the phonies. Lawmakers and intelligence officials worry that these deepfakes could be used to threaten national security or interfere in elections. Politicians of both parties are concerned that this high-tech way of putting words into someone’s mouth will become the latest weapon in disinformation wars against the United States and other Western democracies.

It kinda makes you question whether technology is a good thing or a bad thing, doesn’t it?

14 thoughts on “Don’t Believe Everything You Hear…

  1. The Haunted Wordsmith July 4, 2018 / 6:38 am

    Technology will be our greatest downfall, but then again we have always had problems…lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Fandango July 4, 2018 / 7:43 am

      But technology is accelerating things and making it easier to undermine our privacy and our democracy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Haunted Wordsmith July 4, 2018 / 7:50 am

        True. Privacy aside, our democracy is at risk because there are 380 Million people in the US now and technology has allowed the minority view to be seen as the majority voice. Although that is what Congress is supposed to be doing in a Republic, technology is calling people to action in ways we have never been pulled before as a large group. Even during WWII, there were millions of voices against internment camps. We are living on the fringes and technology made that possible. Before, all the village idiots (no offense meant to any village idiot) were kept in line by their community…now there are chat rooms and websites dedicated to the village idiot. They are no longer alone. Whether that undermines democracy is up to the elected officials of the Republic. Unfortunately, our head of state is…well…you make your own opinion on that 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Fandango July 4, 2018 / 8:01 am

          “Unfortunately, our head of state is…well…you make your own opinion on that.” He’s the Village Idiot-in-chief.

          Liked by 1 person

          • The Haunted Wordsmith July 4, 2018 / 8:24 am

            Ha ha ha ha…I try to keep my personal opinions to myself. That way I can sit back and enjoy the show. As a socialist, I am hated by both side, it’s more fun this way. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Kenneth T. July 4, 2018 / 9:13 am

    How do I know if this technology is real? You did say not to believe everything I see or hear.

    —Just kidding,

    Liked by 1 person

  3. calmkate July 4, 2018 / 3:42 pm

    yes like all things technology can be used for both good and bad … whether Obama said it or not, it is actually true 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sight11 July 4, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    Depends on the user. A sword is meant to kill or protect, Ain’t that right, Sensei?


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