The 20th century has been dubbed the technological revolution century. In the early 1980s, the introduction of the dictaphone in India was a technical revolution. Everyone in the hierarchy who was someone wanted a dictaphone on their desk. The world has evolved since that time.
Chip technology has swept the globe and will almost surely convince one that the 20th century was a time of primitive thoughts and technologies.
In the realms of weaponry for the military, clever touchscreen displays in cell phones, automobiles, and messaging technologies, WhatsApp is essentially free; the list goes on. The automatic recording of talks on standard mobile phones is commonplace.
Undoubtedly, such advancements have provided investigators with a tremendous advantage in resolving crimes/disputes. Most cellphones are more capable than the finest desktop computer, which is now defunct. Laptops are on the verge of obsolescence.
Supercomputers with millions of terabytes of memory that can do more than a few billion computations per second are present in all technologically sophisticated nations.
In 1960s children’s comics, there was a narrative about a scientist who invented a computer with embedded intelligence that took over the world. Frankenstein’s monster was a work of fiction. Yet, significant advances in Artificial Intelligence propel the globe into a hitherto uncharted arena.
But the majority of known innovations strive to increase the ‘intelligence’ of weapons. Development of drones has the top position.
In the early 1960s, an average photographer could place another person’s face on another person’s body, causing immense confusion and uncertainty in films and real life. The face of an actor might be placed on the body of another dancer, creating the illusion of the actor dancing. Few criminals employed this technology, as it was mostly utilized for cinema.
The idea continues to exist, but in a new dimension. Hidden from public view, apparently on purpose, is the astounding growth of what has been dubbed “Deepfake Technologies.” Over the years, steady progress has been made and nearly attained perfection.
How Does Deepfake Technology Work?
Deepfake technology has significantly advanced over the past decade and is now capable of creating talking digital puppets.
Digital puppets with exponential amounts of disinformation will be employed as a ‘Weapon of Mass Confusion’ (WMC) in the near future (in fact, this is already occurring in a few instances), which will be maybe a million times more potent than the most potent nuclear weapon ever created.
With quick worldwide communication similar to WhatsApp, misinformation will reach every part of the planet within seconds.
How does the Deepfake technology function?
Deepfake technology employs deep learning algorithms, which can self-teach and solve issues when provided with voluminous data input. This may be used to switch faces in a video and replicate a close approximation of the original voice, leading viewers to assume it is authentic.
The fabrication of misinformation involves just the employment of deep neural networks with autoencoders. Autoencoders are essentially a type of AI capable of duplicating a person’s footage after analyzing it.
A collection of video footage of the target individual is required to produce a phony message seeming to come from the individual. The fabricator creates the message’s content.
‘Digital puppets’ are created using Deepfake technology. These computer puppets resemble the genuine person in appearance, demeanor, and delivery.
The creator programs the puppets to transmit deceptive signals to the audience. For example, the anchor of an international news channel could broadcast the following message: the President of the United States could be portrayed as a digital puppet expressing his displeasure with events occurring in some part of the world and threatening to use nuclear weapons if his directive is not accepted/implemented.
An regular audience seeing this speech on television will be unable to determine the authenticity of claims made by the President on television. The majority, but not all, will accept it as factual.
The use of deepfake technology by criminals will transform the worldwide nature of crime. A thief with access to this technology may send anxious parents a video depicting a child in captivity and demanding a ransom.
Consider the disastrous repercussions of such actions. The spread of rumors will become the norm. Some could do it for criminal purposes. Already, creating a digital puppet is easier than sending an SMS.
Almost 87% of the world’s population has access to a cell phone, either directly or through a close acquaintance, with the exception of a few tribes still hiding in remote corners. Fascinating facts for everybody – Each day, more photographs are taken globally than were taken in the whole 19th century.
This is the exponential growth potential of technology. The hitherto unexplored social media have drastically impacted how people communicate. Daily, millions, if not billions, of users upload photos to Facebook, Instagram, etc. No longer is privacy a virtue.
Application of Deepfake Technologies in the Future (WMC)
The creation of false identities has become commonplace. Due to the inaccessibility of technology to all individuals, its spread is restricted. Yet, this formidable weapon will soon be employed by non-state actors to disseminate false information, particularly that which would agitate the populace.
The range of applications for deepfake technology is vast. An audio-visual communication is the most effective tool for convincing viewers of its veracity. In the foreseeable future, digital puppets will be utilized widely, mostly to convey “actual misinformation.”
Deepfake technology has already beyond its infant stage. Several applications are currently accessible and usable by novices. For example, the DeepNude app is now utilized to make films and photographs of naked women. Likewise, the Chinese have created Face Swap, FaceApp, and DeepfACE Lab applications. Some of them are picture editing applications.
India And Online Safety
Cybersecurity is a popular topic in India. Everyone uses the word without having the slightest comprehension of the damage caused by the spread of cellphones, essentially free WhatsApp communication, and the message function. One day is plenty to learn how to create a video and distribute it on many social media sites.
This communication medium is already being misused by transmitting and disseminating fraudulent messages, maybe every second. For a nation like India, which is always unstable owing to politico-religious activities, digital puppets might cause unimaginable societal unrest.
Digital puppets are set to bring a tornado-like tempest to Indian culture. People’s daily posting of hundreds or thousands of comments/views on Twitter and multiple videos on YouTube should serve as a clue.
WMC As A Means Of Armed Conflict And Social Unrest
The expansion of Artificial Intelligence development has undoubtedly produced a Frankenstein. Uncertain at this time is how the monster will be subdued. “Fake people” will soon “control” the planet.
As a weapon, WMC may prove to be millions of times more powerful than the most potent nuclear weapons ever created.
It may not be possible to contain and counteract disinformation propagated by digital puppets before it causes irreversible harm to the social fabric.