A Congressional committee is investigating the national security dangers of “deepfakes,” which are created by using artificial intelligence to manipulate all kinds of media. In video format, for example, face swapping technology can be combined with an audio file to create a clip showing someone saying something they never actually said. The dangers posed by these kinds of videos are amplified as the 2020 election inches closer.
Class discussion: With the addition of deepfake videos to all the doctored photos and phony news reports on the Internet, how can you tell truth from malicious fiction? Do you think deepfakes could determine the outcome of an election? Why or why not? Could they destroy someone’s reputation or career? Could you be hurt by a deepfake? Could you be fooled by one? Should social media companies be penalized for spreading phony media? How about any politician who shares false media or conspiracy theories? Should you distrust all information without verifying the source?