What Exactly is Deepfakes, and how Might it Hurt Pakistan?

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced quickly in recent decades, enhancing the efficiency and quality of numerous businesses. However, not all artificial intelligence (AI) products have a good influence on society. Occasionally, technologies are developed that are later misused by criminals. Deepfake is one example of such tech.

In a recent talk with Global Village Space, Defense Analyst Shahid Raza described how Hollywood new tech is utilised for disinformation and why this is harmful for Pakistan.

Deepfakes, the twenty-first century’s equivalent to Photoshopping, employ a type of artificial intelligence known as deep learning to create photographs of fictitious events, hence the term deepfake.

According to Raza, the specific objective of this tech is to disseminate misinformation or ruin someone’s reputation. However, he said convincingly that deepfake is causing uncertainty in society rather than ‘altering’ their view.

What possible danger can it pose to Pakistan?

While there is no proof of it being utilised in any large-scale incident in Pakistan, he claims the technology is largely used to threaten women by replacing their faces. He meant that the objective is to establish a zero-trust society in which people can’t tell the difference between truth and untruth or don’t care. When confidence is destroyed, it is much simpler to cast doubt on individual occurrences.

When asked if deepfakes could be introduced into Pakistan through an international conspiracy, something the PTI is quite loud about, Raza replied it was conceivable since Pakistan would have to export the extremely complex software and hardware necessary to impersonate the subject’s voice and face. He did, however, say that if the PTI’s worry comes true, it will be harmful for the party that publishes it since AI can assist pinpoint its source.

He went on to say that many terrorist organisations working out of India or Afghanistan enjoy spreading propaganda within Pakistan, particularly in the volatile area of Baluchistan. He said, for example, that images of Baluch people discovered dead in the desert became viral on Twitter. A specific group blamed Pakistan’s security forces for the killings and exploited the situation for political gain. However, following further examination, it was discovered that it was an incident of human trafficking.

Solution

Deepfakes, according to Raza, may be combated by public awareness, the creation of anti-disinformation legislation, and detection technologies that flag up fake material for responsibility. He claims we live in a post-truth world, but there is no principle of net neutrality in Pakistan, and the rules aren’t much better.

In terms of public awareness, he stated that numerous notable figures, including former President Barack Obama, are launching a campaign in the United States. During a lecture at Stanford University last month, Obama described the threat that disinformation online posed to democracy, including deepfake technology driven by AI, and how he felt the challenges might be solved in the United States and others.

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