In the Foreign Correspondance episode, Hamish McDonald demonstrates how these avatars are billed as supporting training videos, however the prospect of ‘synethic media’ for politics and pornography is always haunting.
If one person with a computer and an internet connection can make a convincing Tom Cruise, Ferraro fears the risks the technology could pose in the hands of well-resourced actors.
“Chris Ume said it took him a couple of months to train the algorithms and then he estimates about 24 hours to create a minute of video,” he says. “But imagine if you’re the intelligence services of China’s People’s Liberation Army, known as the 2PLA. They could put 10,000 man hours against the creation of a deepfake tomorrow.”
Although there are efforts to set standards and create detection tools, this is often a cat and mouse game. In addition to this, there are concerns about what this might mean notions of truth. As Sam Gregory suggests in regards to Phyo Min Thein’s video:
while the usage of deepfakes to create nonconsensual sexual images currently far outstrips political instances, deepfake and synthetic media technology is rapidly improving, proliferating, and commercializing, expanding the potential for harmful uses. The case in Myanmar demonstrates the growing gap between the capabilities to make deepfakes, the opportunities to claim a real video is a deepfake, and our ability to challenge that.