This week was the start of the UK Labour Party conference 2023. To coincide a deepfake audio recording of Labour leader Keir Starmer was released with the purpose of discrediting and embarrasing. Last year, deepfake videos of Zelensky and Putin were released claiming to carry political messages.

There have also been recent online scams involving deepfakes of Mr. Beast and Martin Lewis (Moneysavingexpert). There is clearly a market already to use deepfake technology to; influence politics, carry war propaganda and to steal money. It’s not just a danger to those tricked, but it likely tarnishes the reputation of the person who has been faked.

Deepfakes are clearly a dangerous tool and should probably be banned.

Yet, there might be some possible ‘good’ uses for the technology:

  • Parody – we don’t want to lose imitation as a comedy tool
  • Learning – training videos using your face, or your teacher’s face might help you learn (according to Bath Uni research)
  • Bringing history to life – why not use as a tool to recreate historic speeches?

Back in 1999 they used CGI to complete Oliver Reed’s final performance in Gladiator – how much better would AI do that today? Personally I’m a fan of resurrecting the voice of James Alexander Gordon to read the football scores.

These subjects are not easy – clearly the potential for abuse needs to be curbed, and yet it’s a technology with potential for good. Perhaps this is also the way out of incovenient ‘hot-mic moments’ – just say it was a deepfake!

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