The Rise of Deepfakes: A Cause for Concern
As artificial intelligence technology continues to advance, the world must remain “vigilant” against the rise of deepfakes, warns Neil Sahota, a California-based AI expert and former United Nations adviser. Deepfakes are media, usually video or audio, that have been manipulated with AI to falsely represent a person saying or doing something that never happened in real life. These videos can be used for various purposes such as fake news content and scams.
Deepfake technology has been used to create convincing fake news content such as a video allegedly showing Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy telling his country to surrender to Russia. Scammers have also used deepfakes to produce fake celebrity endorsements. In one case, an Ontario woman lost $750,000 after viewing a fake video of Elon Musk appearing to promote an investment scam.
Aside from these malicious uses, deepfakes have also been widely used to create non-consensual pornography. Last month in Quebec, a man was sentenced to prison for creating synthetically generated child sexual abuse images using social media photos of real kids.
Sahota emphasizes that anyone can fall victim to deepfake attacks and advises people to be on their guard when it comes to muted video and audio. He suggests looking out for weird body language or shading in videos and asking questions like “are they saying things they would normally say?” when it comes to audio.
Lawmakers should do more in educating the public about the dangers of deepfakes and how to spot them according to Sahota. He suggests implementing content verification systems that use digital tokens as well as authentication systems so people can verify conversations and videos.
Even celebrities are exploring ways on how they can create trust seals or some kind of authentication system so non-face-to-face engagements can be verified. The UN is beginning work on this issue by trying to authenticate conversations and videos through digital tokens.
As deepfake technology continues to improve, it is important for people to remain vigilant and aware of the potential dangers. By keeping an eye out for warning signs and implementing authentication systems, we can help protect ourselves against this growing threat.
As reported by, “Deepfakes are making information warfare more high-tech and worrisome than ever.” It is up to us as individuals and society as a whole to stay informed and take proactive measures in combating this issue.