The danger of deepfakes

Source: The post is based on an article “The danger of deepfakespublished in The Hindu on 2nd January 2023.

Syllabus: GS 3 – Science and Technology

Relevance: concerns associated with deepfake technology.

News: The article discusses the problems associated with deepfake technology and measures needed to tackle those.

What are deepfakes?

They are digital media-video, audio, and images edited and manipulated using Artificial Intelligence.

Cloud computing, public research AI algorithms, abundant data and availability of vast media have provided the option to manipulate the media. This synthetic media content is referred to as deepfakes.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Generated Synthetic media or deepfakes have benefits in certain areas such as accessibility, education, film production, criminal forensics, and artistic expression.

However, there are more problems associated with it than its benefits.

What are the problems with deepfakes?

Targeting Women: According to a report, 96% of deepfakes are pornographic videos. Deepfake pornography exclusively targets women. It reduces women to sexual objects causing emotional distress, financial loss and consequences like job loss.

Social harm: Deepfakes can also cause short-term and long-term social harm. For example, it can depict a person as indulging in antisocial behaviors and saying bad things that he never did.

Misuse by a nation-state: Deepfake could be used by a nation to harm public safety and create uncertainty and chaos in the target country. Deepfakes can undermine trust in institutions and diplomacy.

Misuse by non-state actors: Deepfakes can be used by non-state actors, such as insurgent groups and terrorist organisations, to show their provoking speeches or such actions to create anti-state sentiments among people.

Spread of unauthentic information: Deepfakes can be used to spread fake news, fake information. Thus, misleading the people.

What can be the course of action?
  1. a) There is a need to enhance media literacy amongst the people. It is the most effective tool to combat disinformation and deepfakes, b) A collaborative discussion with the technology industry, civil society, and policymakers is needed to create a proper law, c) there is a need for easy-to-use and accessible technology solutions to detect deepfakes, d) people should act responsibly and think before sharing any media and before coming to any conclusion.
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