Fake or Real
I read an article on the front page of the LA Times this past week that scared me. The article was titled When the realistic blurs reality
Evidently technology has now evolved to such a degree that "we'll be able to produce completely photoreal avatars in real time." Translated into language I can understand that means that I can take a video of me discussing your shortcomings and superimpose someone else into the video so you think they bad mouthed you. While that might be a naughty prank, the options are way more evil.
If there was any interference in our election this past time around imagine what could happen in the near future. You could produce videos of Trump plotting with the Russians to take over the world or the Democratic challenger in bed with a bevy of diverse proportions. While experts expect that in time you will be able to detect the real from the fake the damage will have already been done. That election eve video that destroys your reputation can be proved false after the election.
It used to be that fake news was something posted online from a questionable source, but if you actually saw a video you believed it. Now seeing won't be believing. I am not very able to look clearly into the future, but I wonder how this will play out. If you check your Facebook page or Instagram or Evening News and see a video of a riot happening in your neighborhood are you going to believe it is happening? Soon people are going to have to witness something with their own eyes before they believe it.
I am not a historian, but I think that for societies to prosper there needs to be some level of trust between those that rule and those that don’t. If people get to a point where the only things they truly trust are their own interactions that doesn’t bode well for centralized power. And soon some of those people we will be interacting with will be robots and we won’t be able to tell the difference. Wait, that could already be happening. It is strange when you see those B sci-fi movies come true and what you thought was real comes into question.