When I first started learning about deepfakes, one of the things that concerned me the most was how this technology could be used to create even more fractures in our political environment.
Neural networks are being used to develop artificial faces at a surprising rate – and a simple search on Google provides tons of resources where individuals can generate faces automatically that do not exist.
It is long with known that generating emails from bot accounts can also be automated.
Conversational text can also be automated as well as pre-filling comments and interactions.
So what would prevent an organization to develop 1 million faces and tie them to 1 million fake generated accounts then seed those accounts were pre-populated content that leans in a specific political direction or not. Add to this the deep fake technology, and these artificial faces could be used as digital puppets to spread a message.
These fake humans could be programmed to have a specific political leaning and promote that leaning on a Facebook group.
In short- we could have an environment where an entire political movement could be constructed using artificial intelligence and – if placed on a place like Facebook – it could be considered as a viable movement by so many of our social circles.
A naïve part of me during our previous government administration wondered if such a thing existed and if it could be the source of political strife.
What if we were manipulated to believe that the thoughts of the far right we’re just an orchestrated campaign based on neural networks and not representative of our citizenry as a whole.
While this may not be the case (sadly) – I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t the newest battlefront positioned to try to fracture us even further.