The real problem with AI fakery

As we hurtle towards India’s Deep Fakes Elections, I write in today’s Time of India about the risk of 2024 being India’s Deep Fake Elections. A few points:

1. The rise of deep fakes presents both exciting and concerning implications for entertainment and societal discourse. From resurrecting iconic stars in movies, and having your favorite singers sing songs they never did, to enabling multi-language political campaigns, the technology’s potential is profound.

2. However, the same technology that enables creative applications in advertisement and translation also holds the potential for malicious use, as seen in the spread of fake videos for fraud, hate speech, and political manipulation. The impending “Deep Fake Elections” in India in 2024 highlight the urgent need to address the dissemination of manipulated content, which can significantly impact the outcome of crucial events.

3. The government’s efforts to combat deep fakes last month are commendable, but they face significant challenges, including the difficulty of discerning intent in deep fake content (what if it’s satire or a fact-check?) and the scale of content moderation on online platforms.

4. The proposal of mandatory watermarking for AI-generated content won’t be foolproof, as tools for removing watermarks can counteract these measures, leading to an evolving arms race between detection and evasion technologies.

5. The spread of deep fake content in encrypted platforms like WhatsApp and Signal leads to a problematic push for removing end-to-end encryption, which impacts our privacy.

6. Attributing liability to platforms is problematic, since detection and removal can never be 100% accurate, and no platform can survive the ensuing liability.

7. We need nuanced strategies for mitigating the harmful effects of deep fakes, encompassing public awareness initiatives, R&D for detection technologies, and collaborative efforts between the government, platforms, and academia, and platforms should be required to remove deep fakes on a “best efforts” basis. A balanced approach, avoiding over-regulation to protect internet freedom, should be pursued, fostering a synergy between technological advancements and democratic values.

8. While the government’s actions are important, a public consultation could facilitate the identification of additional measures to address the challenges posed by deep fakes and ensure a holistic societal response.

The full article is at…/the-real-problem…/