#OnTour with #RandomThingsTour
Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse by Nina Schick
#DeepFakes @RandomTTours @Octopus_Books @NinaDSchick
DEEP FAKES AND THE INFOCALYPSE
WHAT YOU URGENTLY NEED TO KNOW
BY NINA SCHICK
“In writing this book, it is my modest aim to help you understand how dangerous and untrustworthy our information ecosystem has become, and how its harms extend far beyond politics – even into our private and intimate life. It is my hope that this understanding can help us come together to bolster our defences and start fighting back. As a society, we need to be better at building resilience to the Infocalypse. Understanding what is happening is the first step.”
– Nina Schick
In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Nina Schick warns us urgently of the impending information overload (known as the ‘Infocalypse’) and explains the dangerous political consequences of this Infocalypse, both in terms of national security and what it means for public trust in politics. Deep Fakes have been around for less than three years, to silence and for revenge and fraud. Government, business and society are completely unprepared.
Schick also unveils what it means for us as individuals, how Deep Fakes will be used to intimidate and to silence, for revenge and fraud, and how unprepared governments and tech companies are.
The malicious use of Deep Fakes is not only a real threat for democracy but they take the manipulation of voters to new levels. With the impending US election, and with vast amounts of money being spent of social media, it is expected that Deep Fakes will become a huge story later this year – – AI generated fake content is here for good, and we will have to figure how to navigate a world where seeing is no longer believing.
There is a viral video of President Obama on YouTube, with almost 7.5 million views. The title lures you in: ‘You Won’t Believe What Obama Says In This Video!’ Obama looks straight into the camera. Seated in a deep mahogany chair, he appears to be in the Oval Office. He’s aged – you can tell from his salt-and-pepper hair. But he looks confident, relaxed. Over his right shoulder, you catch a glimpse of the American flag. As usual, Obama is dressed impeccably: a crisp white shirt and a blue tie. On his left lapel, he’s sporting a US-flag pin.
You click play. ‘We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything in any point in time,’ Obama begins. ‘Even if they would never say those things. So, for instance …’ he continues, gesturing with his hands, ‘they could have me say things like President Trump is a total and complete dipshit!’ His eyes seem to glimmer with a hint of a smile. Obama continues, ‘Now,you see, I would never say these things, at least not in a public address.’
Obama never did say those things. The video was fake – a so-called ‘deepfake’, created with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Welcome to the future, one in which AI is getting powerful enough to make people say things they never said and do things they never did. Anyone can be targeted, and everyone can deny everything. In our broken information ecosystem – characterized by misinformation and disinformation –AI and deepfakes are the latest evolving threat.
As a political advisor to select technology firms, Schick is at the forefront of trends emerging from the worlds of data science, machine learning and AI. In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Schick tells us what we need to do to prepare and protect ourselves.
“Too often we build the cool technology and ignore what bad guys can do with it before we start playing catch-up. But when it comes to Deep Fakes, we urgently need to be on the front foot.”
Nina Schick is a political commentator, advisor and public speaker, specialising in how technology is reshaping politics in the 21st century. Most recently, her work has seen her focusing on the evolution of disinformation, and the fallout generated by election interference in the US (and around the world) since 2016.
Nina has advised global leaders including Joe Biden and Anders Fogh Rasmussen (the former Secretary General of NATO), through her research on next-generation disinformation and AI-generated deep fakes. She has also worked at the heart of historic campaigns, including on the presidential campaign, the Brexit referendum and with Emmanuel Macron.
Half German and half Nepalese, she speaks seven languages and holds degrees from Cambridge University and University College London. She divides her time between London, Berlin and Kathmandu.