03 May 2018

Today’s Fake News will be “Quaint” by 2020

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Turning the power of connectivity against itself, fake Facebook and other social media accounts were able to spew propaganda to millions of targeted individuals who were specifically identified by the capturing of personal data from Facebook apps and Google analytics. Who was responsible? We won’t get involved in the debate here as you can easily form your own opinions.

However, brace yourselves for what’s to come especially as we near the 2020 presidential elections (and what you will see sooner on your Instagram and Facebook video feeds!).

Google has gathered so much information on people (by analyzing email content and other behavioral data) that they have created artificial intelligence code libraries that are made available to developers. With this data overlaid with one’s photos and home videos posted on Facebook, using free online software, one can easily make realistic fake videos of YOU (or politicians, Hollywood stars, your neighbors and friends) saying things you would never really say, and disseminate your fake message to your community of friends or the world.

College kids will be using this soon as their next form of prank!

Think about this for a minute. Realistic, impossible for the layperson to detect, fake videos of you posted on YouTube for the world to see (and likely beyond your control to remove).

This is the new world of technology called “Deep Fakes”, made easily accessible by tools like FakeApp and Lyrebird. “Deep Fake” is an artificial intelligence-based human image synthesis technique used to combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos.

Sound complicated? It’s not. Watch this report investigating the growing use technology to create realistic “fake news.” And, remember, this is “early days” for this technology — just wait until more powerful tools are developed operating on more powerful computers.

What does all of this mean? What can you trust?

With video, it seems you will soon not be able to trust what you see. We have no easy advice for you here, other than be aware. Don’t simply trust what you see because it is an authentic looking video.

With email and important documents, however, we do have an easy solution. To be in a position to prove original email or document content, timestamped delivery, or who signed what when, you should simply add RMail to your email program. All it takes is a few clicks to install, and you can send your email and documents as Registered Email™ messages for when you feel it is important to have irrefutable proof of delivery, content, timestamp, e-signatures, or fact of encryption compliance.