Just Ahead: Deep Fakes And Shallow Reality

Authored by James Gorrie via The Epoch Times,

You’ve probably already seen deep fake videos portraying events that never happened in feeds from the wars in Gaza and Ukraine. The videos are so realistic that neither you nor I can tell that they’re fake.

A phone displaying a statement from the head of security policy at Meta, in front of a screen displaying a deepfake video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky calling on his soldiers to lay down their weapons, in Washington on Jan. 30, 2023.

In fact, you can now watch a video, clear as a bell, of a person who is no longer alive. That person can be with you, on screen, talking to you, interacting with you as well.

Soon enough, that person will be standing in the room with you. Yes, hologram technology has come a long way. For the past few years, there have been hologram concerts with dead performers appearing on stage before thousands of people, singing their best songs—from the grave. It’s really taking off.

Other uses include helping family members grieve for a loved one by “bringing them back to life” holographically for the family to talk to. Sounds more like deceiving than grieving, but hey, that’s just me.

Mass Deception Around the Corner?

But what does this deep fakery and visual deception technology really add up to in the very near future, if not at this very moment?

There are a couple of phrases that come to mind. “Mass deception” is one. “The very best in fake news” is another. “The end of reality” is a third one, but does it seem rather over-the-top?

I wish I could say it does. But when we’ve seen fake news about fake collusion with Russia, fake ballots, fake trials about fake real estate fraud (“fake fraud” is now a thing), and fake presidents, well, the over-the-top threshold has gotten much higher of late.

The New Reality? There’s No Need for It

Reality no longer bites, as we used to say in my youth, but rather, reality is bytes. Bytes of data can and do shape our reality every day. And that’s the problem. It’s a very BIG problem, for several reasons.

Do you recall the announcement from the Biden administration about the formation of the Disinformation Governance Board back in April 2022?

You may not, as it was yanked because of lots of pushback from the conservative side after just a couple of weeks as a division of the Department of Homeland Security. But the point is that it was there, and given the direction in which things are headed, care to bet that it won’t return as the deep fakes begin to hit the fan in this election year?

More to the point, how will you and I determine that what we watch on the news, what we see on our most trusted internet news sites, is actually real? How will we know that it actually happened, or is happening as we watch it “live?”

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