Thursday, July 13, 2017

Fake News In The Near Future Will Be Scarier Than You Thought

Researchers have made convincing videos of Barack Obama
saying things he said years ago and inserting them into new
clips. It's a matter of time before fake news people can
make it look like people are saying things they never did. 
Donald Trump always yells about fake news when there's coverage that doesn't flatter him.

Maybe he's got a thin skin. But maybe he's ahead of his time.

In a scary story, Gizmodo had a report on research that uses machines to learn the facial movements of people and then render real looking lip movements for any piece of audio.

In other words, people with this program can make videos of anyone saying anything they want. You can see how easy it would be to make a convincing fake news clip of somebody saying something they really didn't.

How will we really know what's true and what's not.

According to the Gizmodo report,  researchers at the University of Washington developed the method to study the facial movements - in this case of Barack Obama. They were able to make it look like things he said when he was a law student were just said recently.

From there, it's easy to insert words and sentences into a video of Obama, or anybody else talking, and literally put words in their mouths.

What's worse, this techology is getting better and better, less and less expensive and easier and easier to use.

Which makes it a matter of time that anybody, even some teenager in a basement, can make a sophisticated fake news clip.

 Of course, this technology would not only be applied to news clips, to make it look like politicians and candidates were saying things they really didn't.  This could be applied to any video clip.

As Gizmodo put it: 

"If you thought fake-looking news websites were a problem, just imagine what a completely fake police body cam could do."

Scary indeed.

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