Clicks, Lies and Videotape

Article Clicks, Lies and Videotape

Artificial intelligence is making it possible for anyone to manipulate audio and video. The biggest threat is that we stop trusting anything at all.




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Some may enjoy laughing at fake videos on Facebook and Instagram, but what is happening at the confluence of artificial intelligence and manipulated images is no joke. As technicians and artists explore more efficient ways to craft realistic, convincing videos that are completely fake, everyone has to deal with the potential impacts of social unrest and political fallout. Brooke Borel’s Scientific American story shows that while technology to detect deepfakes lags behind, even clearly phony videos can foment overall distrust. Everyone who uses social media should read this cautionary article.


Policing fake videos won’t solve the profound societal problems they cause.

Next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) software can create videos from scratch, which are more convincing and realistic than those created by doctoring existing videos. Technology for detecting false media is advancing, but lags behind. The long-term societal damage caused by fake viral videos has not been deeply studied. Many researchers say detection and exposure must be combined with input from psychologists, ethicists and social scientists to preserve trust in democratic institutions such as journalism and government.

Computer generated imagery (CGI) has become innocuous in movies, ...

About the Author

Brooke Borel is a journalist and author of The Chicago Guide to Fact-Checking.

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