If you, like millions of home-bound Americans, watched The Last Dance featuring the life and times of Michael Jordan. You may have noticed an ad for State Farm. You may not have noticed, but you were watching the future.
The StateFarm ad featured people making predictions for the future from the times of when Jordan played for the NBA. Forbes stated, “Deepfakes are going to wreak havoc on society. We are not prepared.” Deepfakes makes “buyer beware” almost impossible.
The word deepfakes comes from the phrase “deep learning” and the word “fake.” Some believe the word was first used in 2017. It is powered by a new learning method called “generative adversarial networks (GANs). Let’s get out of the geek talk: Basically, this technology allows you to create realistic-looking photos and videos of people saying and doing anything–even if they did not do it. Impersonations are one thing, this is super realistic to the point you can’t tell that it is fake.
Video has already moved the world to response and action. But imagine if you can’t believe what you see is true. The benefits are you can have John Wayne star in a new movie even though he passed many years ago. The downside is you can have John Wayne say damaging things about someone and not know it is not true.
Forbes estimates that “deepfake content online is growing at a rapid rate.” In 2019 there were estimated nearly 8,000 deepfake videos online. Less than a year later there were nearly 15,000.
The truth is out there. But it is going to get very hard to know what to believe. Hopefully, technology is coming that can detect and alert you to the deepfake. For now, double check and verify before you believe and act on the information.