(NewsReady.com) – As technology advances, so does the ability to make fiction a reality. Deepfakes are one of the ways to do that. This technology is used to trick someone into thinking something happened that didn’t.
The US Armed Forces are now reportedly developing this technology to possibly deploy at a later time.
What Are Deepfakes?
In 2017, researchers are the University of Washington reported they’d developed new algorithms that allowed them to create a realistic, lip-synced video. They shared a video of former President Barack Obama talking about a number of issues, including terrorism and fatherhood. The problem was that the video was not real. The 44th POTUS had not sat down for an interview with the researchers. Instead, they used audio of Obama speaking and synced it to an image of him. The result was mindblowing.
In the years since then, this technology has become even more advanced. Not all deepfakes are of someone speaking either, they can be videos that depict events that never happened.
US Military Plans
On March 6, The Intercept published a shocking report that the US Special Operations Command (SOCOM) intends to use these types of video in order to conduct missions online. The news agency received a document from the military agency that reportedly outlined their intentions with the technology.
SOCOM intends to develop and use the technology to carry out disinformation campaigns in order to eavesdrop on foreign countries to find out how susceptible they are to propaganda. Ironically, the US government has warned the American people for years about foreign adversaries carrying out similar campaigns against them.
Chris Meserole, who leads the Artificial Intelligence and Emerging Technology Initiative for the Brookings Institution, told The Intercept that he doesn’t believe the Department of Defense should be “fighting fire with fire.” Instead, he said the military should be working to “strengthen democracy by building support for shared notions of truth and reality.”
Meserole explained that using deepfakes just casts suspicion on all content and “erode[s] the foundation of democracy itself.” He believes if they are used by the Armed Forces, then there should be oversight, and all of the material should have to go through an approval process.
The military has not commented on the report.
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