As a strategist, my worse nightmare is the disappearance of facts. Note that I don’t say Truth. I consider truth a matter of interpretation. Facts, on the other hand, are immutable. They happened, and there is proof.
But what if that proof wasn’t so? What if all you rely on, suddenly became untrustworthy?
As I read the newest Artificial Intelligence news, my skin crawls. The more I read, the more scared I become. I’ve always been pro-AI. One thing though is talking about the future; a different matter is living it. I’m staring into the beast’s eyes, feeling its rancid breath and I’m wetting my pants.
The more I piece the little AI crumbles together, the more frightening the picture becomes. Weeks ago I wrote about how fake news was a massive problem
. Not because of the propaganda, which has existed forever, but because of the scale of distribution
The scary part about fake news is how much it undermines trust. People are getting influenced on a major scale, and this has brutal ramifications for any sector. We’re now capable of swinging people’s opinion with a single click.
As consumers, we lack necessary tools to protect ourselves
. We have to trust the platforms, and oh the irony, they’re the first ones that have an incentive not to protect their users
from manipulation attempts.
Worse than that, is that brands and organizations are even more exposed than individuals. Their attack surface is more prominent. Their response time, slower. Their trust, already undermined due to the impersonality of the brand.
Few believe that a good orchestrated fake news attack on an organization can make it crumble. Most think their company isn’t a big enough entity to offer a good target. Others believe that fake news is simple propaganda articles. Both accounts are wrong. Anyone will be targeted, and the tactics will be brutal.
But if fake news undermines trust, the new crop of AI models, obliterate it. The new set of technologies are focusing on automated content generation. This includes, not only automated image generation, but video and audio manipulation at a level never seen before.
Yes, you could fake a picture before. But it required a semi-expert to make it believable. New AI models (Generative Adversarial Networks
), not only edit images at leisure, but create whole new realistic images of people, in one click, and at scale.