NOVEMBER 17, 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently flagged concerns on the misuse of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to create deep fakes. The problem of deep fakes has been around for some years now and it is disquieting even the advocates of AI. We all are acutely aware of how actress Rashmika Mandanna turned a guileless victim to deep fakes when her face was morphed into the body of another woman. Such distasteful incidents have the tendency to go viral in a jiffy and they can cause reputational damage to the person. AI is like fire- when controlled and tempered, it is our useful ally. But if left unrestrained, AI can be hazardous beyond imagination. For instance, the use of AI in autonomous vehicles could lead to disastrous results if the car’s AI is not properly trained to detect and respond to all potential hazards on the road.
AI-powered deep fakes can create hyper-realistic audio and video content, making it harder to tell fact from fiction. It threatens the foundations of trust and truth in our digital age, from political manipulation to identity theft. Technology and human-centric solutions must be integrated into a comprehensive strategy to counter this menace. This is akin to playing a game of chess where your opponent has an unbeatable strategy. You have to find a way to outwit them and beat them at their own game. In this case, it’s using technology and human intervention to effectively combat the dangers of deep fakes.
The Limits of Technology
AI advancements can assist in developing algorithms to detect deep fakes, but the arms race between creators of deceptive content and technology developers continues to evolve. By relying solely on algorithms, malicious actors may find new ways to outsmart detection mechanisms, creating a perpetual cycle of catch-up. It is also possible for false positives to occur, potentially causing harm to innocent individuals whose content is mistakenly flagged. To address these issues, AI developers need to incorporate human-based verification to ensure that algorithms are not mistaking real content for fake. Additionally, AI developers should strive to stay ahead of malicious actors by creating algorithms that can quickly and accurately detect deep fakes without sacrificing accuracy.
Human Intelligence as a Counterbalance
Complementing technological solutions with real and intuitive human intelligence is crucial. Machines are unable to mimic human ability to discern nuances, contextualize information, and employ emotional intelligence. Deep fakes are subtle and evolving, so combining AI detection tools with human expertise ensures a more robust defense.
Digital Literacy Education:
Digital content evaluation skills should be taught to individuals at an early stage. Educating people on media literacy can give them the tools to recognize signs of manipulation. A culture of skepticism and critical thinking can collectively protect society from the spread of deep fake content by fostering a culture of skepticism and critical thinking.
Content authenticity can be verified by harnessing the collective intelligence of the crowd. Crowdsourcing fact-checking initiatives can be implemented by platforms and organizations, encouraging users to report and verify suspicious content. Crowds can enhance the accuracy of content verification through their diverse perspectives and expertise. By leveraging the collective intelligence of the crowd, platforms and organizations can create crowdsourced fact-checking initiatives to verify content. Moreover, crowds can provide invaluable assistance in ensuring the accuracy of content verification due to their diverse perspectives and specialized expertise.
Ethical AI Development:
AI technology must be developed and deployed ethically. To strike a balance between innovation and responsible use, interdisciplinary teams, including ethicists, psychologists, and sociologists, are needed. AI development must be guided by human oversight in a way that aligns with societal norms and values.
Taking on the deep fake dilemma requires a multifaceted approach that acknowledges both technology and human intelligence. It is the nuanced, contextual understanding and ethical compass of human intelligence that can fortify our defenses, not AI. It is possible to mitigate the threats posed by deep fake technology by fostering a symbiotic relationship between man and machine. It’s like trying to ward off a swarm of bees: AI can be like a net, trapping them, but human intelligence is needed to recognize and understand them in order to effectively combat them.
(Jayajit Dash is a compelling content writer who revels in writing at the intersection of technology and policy ecosystems, has the flair to project emerging technologies in an intelligible light for the benefit of the lay reader. He is currently engaged as a Senior Manager (Corporate Communications) with Bhubaneswar-headquartered IT consulting company CSM Technologies.)