Sunday, 28 april 2019 | Redacción CEU
Social networking sites are another channel of information. Nowadays, ignoring the content which is traveling on these online platforms is almost an impossible mission. Memes, stories, tweets, posts,... As our society is more immersed in this digital world, our language changes more, and so does the perception of our reality. Deepfakes are one of the last viral phenomena on the network. These hyperrealistic productions test our power of judgment. Hence, a question must be asked: Are we ready to recognize the lies when they appear on video and use artificial intelligence?
The term “deepfake” is a word game that connects its older brothers, fake news, with its underlying technology, deep learning. Deepfakes use this technique based on artificial intelligence to copy and learn the voices, tics, expressions and movements of the characters who are going to be supplanted. The result is a fake video with a very realistic appearance. They are manipulations of great quality, which are increasingly sophisticated and whose main objective is to confuse audiences. In most cases, the effect is so real that it is practically impossible to detect the deception.
Fake news on video
One of the last contents to go viral was the video on which Jennifer Lawrence appeared talking with the face of Steve Buscemi. The effect was at least disturbing, although in this case the lie was recognizable. The goal of this video was innocent. Its creator did not even expect it would become so popular, it was just a game. Deepfakes do not always have a malicious purpose, sometimes their intention is making you laugh or drawing your attention.
The deepfake that managed to replace the identity of Barack Obama and make him say phrases that he never pronounced was more controversial. The video was created by Jordan Peele, Director of the film Get Out, in collaboration with Jonah Peretti, co-founder of BuzzFeed. It was an experiment that invited viewers to reflect: Will eventually deepfakes become a key instrument to spread lies? Most experts believe so. In the future, new technologies may play a key role in the boost of fake news.
This data is even more alarming if we take into account that researchers have come to the conclusion that fake news are 10% more likely to be shared than true facts. Largely, this situation is due to the weight that emotion has in today's society. In the post-truth era, people are more governed by passionate and visceral criteria than by the credibility of the facts themselves. This context leads to the fact that, in many cases, when users get this type of fake information, they let themselves be guided by their ideology and beliefs without questioning what they read, hear or see. In short, the recipients of the messages end up believing only what they want to believe.