Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Imagine a Convincing Video of a President Being Made to Say Something He Never Actually Said.

Richard Nixon once told reporters gathered for a news conference in 1973, the age of television news was shaking the confidence of the American people. “I have never heard or seen such outrageous, vicious, distorted reporting.”  

At a time when honest American's distrust in journalistic institutions is swelling, technology that further muddies the ability to discern what’s real is rapidly advancing. Convincing Photoshop-esque techniques for video have arrived, and the result is simultaneously scary yet remarkable. In a informational age transformed by the web, video is a gripping format. In the chaos of 24/7 real-time news there’s an advantage to being able to see something with your own eyes.

Or, there used to be........

Computer scientists can now make realistic lip-synched videos, ostensibly putting anyone’s words into another person’s mouth. The clip above comes from researchers at the University of Washington, who developed an algorithm to take audio of someone talking and turn that into a realistic video of someone speaking those words.

Clearly this technique could be used to deceive. People are already fooled by doctored photos, impostor accounts on social media, and other sorts of digital mimicry all the time. Imagine the confusion that might surround a convincing video of the president being made to say something he never actually said. 

And what does reliability mean when you cannot believe your own eyes? With enough convincing distortions to reality, it becomes very difficult to know what’s real.

Do I dare say it? In the hands of todays media..........

Thank You MJA for the Linkage!