A new form of online disinformation has some government officials uneasy about its potential effects on upcoming political campaigns and elections, but policy efforts to address it are sparse.
“Deepfakes” — videos altered with the help of AI that can make people (typically celebrities or politicians) appear to do and say things they actually did not — are not only weird, uncanny manifestations of a new era of technological progress, they’re also a national security threat, according to some.
San Francisco (CNN Business)With the 2020 US presidential election looming, political leaders, presidential candidates and the country’s intelligence chief are worried about doctored videos being used to mislead voters.
One professor is building tools to detect faked videos of major political figures such as Donald Trump, Theresa May and Justin Trudeau, as well as the US presidential candidates.
So-called deep fake technology could be used by Russia and other countries to meddle in the 2020 presidential election, warned House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff Tuesday.
Bad actors could use this technology “to forge audio tapes, to forge videotapes, to make a far more disruptive impact,” Schiff told reporters, according to Reuters news agency. Furthermore, according to the top Democrat, the utilization of such technologies by malicious actors could make the American public doubtful of real footage.
The election interference tactics originally deployed by Russia against the US and Europe are now global.
Hackers across the world have exploited weaknesses in e-mail servers, probed voting machines for vulnerabilities, set up troll farms to spread partisan narratives, and employed bots to distort the truth.
Tech experts in countries such as Iran and Venezuela have borrowed these tactics and joined efforts toward the same goals: to erode confidence in electoral processes and in democratic governance itself.