Jan 8, 2024

Deepfake News: Deepfake-Powered Influencers, Elections, and Final Fantasy

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Late last week, we were asked a question by a journalist that we’ve been asked for a couple of years now: what are we doing to prepare for the 2024 election?

It can be argued that everything Reality Defender has done since its existence is some form of preparation for this year and the many elections (65, by last count) happening around the world.

That said, due to our position as a leader in this very specific space, we’re more than aware of the many developments and generative AI before or as they happen. This newsletter (particularly the Monday edition) is our sharing of these findings, and will continue to serve as such before, during, and after these elections.

If you’re looking for the latest high- and even low-profile deepfake incidents, advancements in generative AI, analysis on the sector, or news related to this field, we will continue to provide this timely information in spades. Doing so not only helps us build a better detection platform; it helps steel readers against everything bad actors and attackers have in store for this year and beyond.

Thank you again for subscribing.

-Ben Colman, Co-Founder and CEO, Reality Defender

P.S. – If you work in the media and are looking for a (near) real-time feed of these stories, please reach out. We are happy to provide you with complimentary access.

AI Is Coming for the Influencers (New York Magazine/John Herrman)

The influencer economy could see a downturn as deepfakes take their job, with impressive stats already being posted by ads that use deepfakes in lieu of traditional, real influencers. (No word if these deepfakes are equally excited about Stanley tumblers.)

You thought 2023 was a big year for AI? Buckle up. (Vox/Adam Clark Estes)

Vox takes their straightforward approach to explainer articles to the many positives and negatives that AI could bring this year. A great, non-technical, and highly speculative look into what this year may have in store.

‘Stakes are really high’: misinformation researcher changes tack for 2024 US election (The Guardian/Rachel Leingang)

Misinformation researchers have had their work cut out for them before the deluge of AI-driven mis/disinformation. Now, they’re at their limits, and having to change tactics in the face of an ever-advancing technological landscape.

Voice cloning tech to power 2024 political ads as disinformation concerns grow (VentureBeat/Sharon Goldman)

VentureBeat dives into the voice deepfakes that are already being used by one company to power ads, while many (including our team) are worried about the implications this may bring for political disinformation.

In Defense of AI Hallucinations (Wired/Steven Levy)

Spouting and sharing hallucinations from artificial intelligence bring innumerable risks. As writer Steven Levy advocates, they can also spur human creativity.

New Version of Siri With Generative AI Again Rumored for WWDC (MacRumors/Hartley Charlton)

Though still just speculation, MacRumors writes about how the next version of Apple’s iOS could potentially bring generative AI to billions, perhaps under the company’s Siri banner. As a user of Siri, I welcome an upgrade to the voice assistant, though not at the cost of having one spouting dangerous inaccuracies.

All Science journals will now do an AI-powered check for image fraud (Ars Technica/John Timmer)

Though different from the technology that powers Reality Defender, this Ars Technica article shows the importance of detecting AI-powered inaccuracies everywhere, including in technical scientific papers, and how doing so with AI catches things that humans cannot.

Arizona creates own deep-fake election hoaxes to prepare for 2024 (Politico/ John Sakellariadis)

Federal and state government agencies and officials are bracing for the worst AI may offer when it comes to this year’s presidential election. Arizona appears to be going one step further by testing their abilities in determining fact from AI-generated fiction.

Etsy Has Been Selling Deepfake Pornographic Images of Celebrities (PetaPixel/Pesala Bandara)

Even one of the largest online marketplaces has a (bespoke) non-consensual deepfake porn problem.

Singapore PM Lee warns of ‘very convincing’ deepfakes ‘spreading disinformation’ after fake video of him emerges (South China Morning Post/Kimberly Lim)

The next general election in Singapore will happen sometime before the end of November 2025. It goes to say that every government, election or no, will deal with some sort of deepfake-related issue at the highest level this year and every year after — until mandatory detection is implemented, of course.

President of Square Enix Says Company Plans To Be "Aggressive in Applying AI" (Hypebeast/Sarah Kearns)

Square Enix, makers of the popular Final Fantasy series, will be using AI in the creation and development of their games. This runs counter to Take-Two Interactive’s view (home of the Grand Theft Auto series), who feels it will not speed up or improve game development.

Thank you for reading the Reality Defender Newsletter. If you have any questions about Reality Defender, or if you would like to see anything in future issues, please reach out to us here.

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