"Should we be on the lookout for Deepfake today? Absolutely. Although not pervasive as yet, it is out there. Rough and crude, it is out there. And it is only going to get better. Ready to fool even the most cautious of us. Get ready. It is coming."
Hey Star Wars fans! Did you know the next chapter in the Star Wars series. The Rise of Skywalker, will be released before year's end? Did you know the Princess Leia character has a role in this movie? Oh by the way, did you know the person who plays Leia died a few years ago? No biggie. Through the magic of using some old footage, camera angles, and a wee bit of CGI, Leia will live again!
Those who are movie buffs (like I am), and are special effects geeks (like I am), have noticed a huge sea change as of late. Our CGI expertise is off the charts good these days. Trying to tell the real from the not real is getting to be very, very hard. One of the major actors has recently said, he can see a day in the near future where an actor in a movie will be 100% CGI, and nobody will know it.
That is all fun and cute when we can strut our stuff in movies and TV. But there is a darker side to all this technology. It is called Deepfake. If you are unfamiliar with this term, I dare say you will be in the near future. It will have the ability to change everything for everyone. Just so you don't think I am a bit of a drama queen, let me explain.
Imagine for a minute, you go on social media, and someone has posted a video of the President addressing the nation. I mean, it looks like him, acts like him, and sounds like him. In that video, he tells the nation a shocking secret. He is in reality, a Russian agent. All that has been alleged about him is true. He is a traitor and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And because of his high crimes, he will be resigning from the Presidency tomorrow morning. Only one problem however - it is all fake. As real as it looked and sounded, it is all computer.
Deepfake is only in its infancy right now. I shudder to think how sophisticated it will be in five years. Will we be able to determine if anything is real, or a fake? How will we get our news? Know what, or whom to believe? This is a part of our brave new world. The brave new world I believe few saw coming. How will we regulate Deepfake? How will be police it? These are vexing questions for us, as a society, to address. And we had better do it sooner rather than later.
Back to movies as I close. Is it possible to get too real? To see the sickening parts of death when someone is blown up, burned alive, or shredded with gunfire? Do we really need to see that? I don't think so. On the plus side however, the new CGI will show us places we have never seen before. Places which can be now be filmed. Like outer space, or visiting other planets. No expensive sets are needed, like the old days. All you need is just some very good computer work. Stay tuned for the 2020's - it is about to get a whole lot better.
Should we be on the lookout for Deepfake today? Absolutely. Although not pervasive as yet, it is out there. Rough and crude, it is out there. And it is only going to get better. Ready to fool even the most cautious of us. Get ready. It is coming.