March 9, 2018
The advice in the ’60s Motown song, “Heard It Through the Grapevine” is “People say believe half of what you see…”
A new computer application indicates we may want to lower that to less than half, at least on the Internet — much less.
FakeApp allows even novice users to superimpose the face of one person over that of another in videos.
This should be alarming to all politicians and business leaders, among others, who will be natural targets — and it’s a deadly trend in the fight against fake news.
The social name for this trend is DeepFake.
As New York’s WCBS noted recently, “Experts are worried it could have serious moral implications, like framing people for crimes or putting celebrities’ faces on pornographic performers.”
That’s already happened — there are celebrity faces superimposed onto X-rated movie footage that are making the rounds on websites like SnapChat,
The FakeApp potential for blackmail, harassment and the framing of people for crimes is enormous.
And the app is so good that one video showing up on discussion websites like Reddit is of former President Barack Obama delivering a speech that never happened — and the video was enormously popular.
In the past there has been face “morphing,” the changing of one face to another in photos and videos, but it wasn’t as convincing as FakeApp.
And of course there are serious ethical and moral questions, too.
“It’s very concerning because as people get better with this software we’re able to not just use celebrities, they’re able to use a neighbor in a video and compromise that person,” FiTech Senior Vice President Duarte Pereira said.
The day may come when we change the advice “Don’t Believe What You See On the Internet” to “Don’t Believe Anything You See On the Internet.”
— Mike Shiloh