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Postdoctoral researcher, Dr Garfield Benjamin discusses the emergence of deepfake video and the effect these may have on society.

8th February 2019

Postdoctoral researcher, Dr Garfield Benjamin discusses the emergence of deepfake video and the effect these may have on society.

It has the potential to ruin relationships, reputations and our online reality. 'Deepfake' artificial intelligence technology promises to create doctored videos so realistic that they’re almost impossible to tell from the real thing. So far it has mostly been used to create altered pornographic clips featuring celebrity women’s faces but once the techniques are perfected, deepfake revenge porn purporting to show people cheating on their partners won’t be far behind.

But more than becoming a nasty tool for stalkers and harassers, deepfakes threaten to undermine trust in political institutions and society as a whole. The White House recently justified temporarily banning a reporter from its press conferences using reportedly sped up genuine footage of an incident involving the journalist. Imagine the implications of seeing ultra-realistic but artificial footage of government leaders planning assassinations, CEOs colluding with foreign agents or a renowned philanthropist abusing children.

Read Dr Garfield Benjamin's article in full on The Conversation