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The detrimental effects of deep fakes

The detrimental effects of deep fakes

As technology continues to evolve and with innovations on the rise, society constantly faces new challenges. AI has become a familiar adversary with society, as its power can be easily manipulated and weaponized. Furthermore, AI is related to deep fakes: fabricated images that produce realistic depictions of strangers and celebrities.

More recently, deep fakes have impacted celebrities in various forms, such as celebrities like Tom Hanks, Taylor Swift, Nicki Minaj and Morgan Freeman. The deep fake content shows companies using celebrities to promote their product.

For example, Hanks had to address his run-in with deep fakes as he was seen in an ad promoting a dental plan that he, in truth, had no affiliation with. He posted a PSA to Instagram addressing and affirming that a video was circulating that he did not create, produce or plan to promote.

On the other hand, Freeman’s experience with deep fakes was more philosophical in the sense that a video was posted of him urging people to question reality. Deep fakes have been around for years, but as technology advances, these images/videos are becoming more and more realistic, such as the content of Freeman.

Unfortunately, deep fakes can also become darker, as Minaj brought to Twitter her concerns with a video of Tom Holland and Mark Zuckerberg. In the video, Minaj was “married” to Holland and arguing with Zuckerberg, their “neighbor.” Although this video is seemingly harmless, it’s just absurd and unnecessary.

Minaj, like many other celebrities who have been affected by deep fakes, has expressed her confusion, discomfort and anxiety going forward with the evolution of deep fakes. Although all examples described above have been easily remedied, the real issue lies when the images become more explicit.

Most recently, Swift has fallen victim to deep fakes as nude images were shared to the internet. X, formerly known as Twitter, had to block the search for “Taylor Swift” as it was the only way to mitigate the situation. Other images were posted that depicted Swift supporting former president Donald Trump as she has publicly been anti-Trump.

Now the issue evolves when this could happen to a normal person who doesn’t have a legal team to immediately take the photos down. Specifically among young people, since most of these images are typically revenge posts, this could become a much larger issue.

As AI evolves, states have already started to take action, for example, states are creating laws that criminalize nonconsensual deep fake porn. This is just the beginning of deep fakes so it’s critical that laws like this are federally enacted to protect citizens.

The frightening truth is that there really are no restrictions or preventative measures that can be taken on a personal level, without government intervention users must be careful. The only mediocre measure is to try and keep social media platforms private as any picture can be stolen and turned into a deep fake.

For example, when using social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and even Snapchat users should keep their profiles private so that they can monitor who is viewing their content. Although this isn’t a foolproof solution, it does help prevent and, even in the event that someone falls victim to deep fakes, finding the culprit easier if you know who is following you.

Overall, as technology continues to evolve, society must adapt and create solutions to avoid further misinformation. Deep fakes can become increasingly dangerous and cause significant damage to not only celebrities but anyone that had photos or videos of themselves online.

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