The Post-Truth Era*

by | Feb 26, 2021


These deep fake videos appeared on Tik Tok a few days ago. They represent a milestone in the technology that supports deep fake video, audio, and still photos. Read the article for the clear explanation of how parallel algorithms enable a level of verisimilitude that we’ve never seen before.

So what?

Essentially now and going forward, the average person without access to the necessary software (and at this level, and at the higher levels enabled by more sophisticated algorithms, artificial intelligence, and supercomputing power, even with the detection software) will be UNABLE to determine whether an image, a video, a sound track is genuine (that is a recording of an event that actually took place) or a highly sophisticated fake generated on a laptop.

So what might happen if a YouTube video appeared and was linked to Twitter, and it showed a major political leader expressing racist or politically incorrect views? What if that happened right before that politician’s election? What if it was even more hard core? Sexual abuse, domestic violence? What if a video of police officers expressing racist views appeared right before a controversial trial, with the officers clearly identified? Or if a public announcement came over the Emergency Management Channels that a nuclear attack was underway, along with accompanying footage?

It’s a new generation of enabler in narrative warfare, disinformation and influence operations.

As a novelist, I’m taken with the possibilities. It takes blackmail and pressure to unprecedented levels, doesn’t it? Say one had compromising video of a banker, a lawyer, a judge, a sheriff, a cop, a real estate tycoon — and then that video was augmented/edited with this readily available technology…and then released to a carefully curated list of media representatives, political fund raisers, law enforcement, and the target’s families?

I’m going to work that scenario into my next REVENGERS novel: ¬†JEFF.

*(Hat Tip for the title to LCDR Guz, who as always is succinct and brilliant in his summaries)