Can Blockchain Help In Preventing The Onslaught Of “Deep Fakes”?
By now everyone is accustomed to the word fake news, thanks to all the popularizing in the media itself. If that was not enough on our plate, now we have deep fakes to worry about as well. Deep fakes are seemingly real looking videos of personalities that are morphed and created with the help of artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Creation and circulation of these kinds of manipulative messages can not only escalate the fake news hysteria by cementing mistrust in media but can also be fatal to the democratic society.
So, what is the solution? Technology experts believe that the use of Blockchain technology can reverse the damages done by such videos and even prevent them from inflicting any damage in the first place.
Effects of Deep Fakes on Society: When truth and facts start getting manufactured to fulfil an agenda then that becomes a threat to society. Such doctored videos can influence public opinion in times of election in the wrong manner and even crumble the very foundation of democracy at some point. Anyone can manufacture opinions according to one’s opinions and beliefs and use it to create mass chaos by making them believe it as well.
Such acts can trigger even war between nations as the very foundation of such videos is propaganda. Of course, representation of the wrong is nothing new, but the use of deep fakes takes it to a whole new level. Advancements in both AI, combined by the social media’s viral nature this have become a true bane of technology, the repercussions of which are quite frightening.
Keeping aside the social implications, deep fakes can be used to personally harm someone as well. It can be potentially used to defame and individual. In 2018, there surfaced a Reddit account that became viral for creating and posting of AI-backed doctored celebrity videos, some of which were even pornographic. Despite the account getting blocked the videos remain on the internet because it already got circulated and went viral.
It’s not just the important personalities, the commoners have had their share of troubles as well. Due to the easy and unchecked availability of deep fake software and apps, anyone can become a target of fake videos and something as defaming as revenge porn videos.
How Blockchain Can Help: Several start-ups invested in Blockchain are working to create a platform or network for authentication and validation of the videos that are being generated. Blockchain can be used for the provenance of these videos, right from its origin and then validate its authenticity.
In a Blockchain-based decentralized system, the video gets tagged in a block after being authenticated and validated that it is not a fake. Once inside the immutable ledger, it cannot be altered or tampered with which mainly happens in case of deep fakes. The use of smart contracts ensures that any change gets audited. So, Blockchain helps in tracking the video from its source to each to its destination.
The success of such a system depends on a much wider adoption, where we will need the big industry players, media houses and other avenues that deal with video content. That’s an extensive procedure of infrastructure reformation, that’s the only way to fight deep fakes.
As technology keeps advancing, deep fakes and the likes of it will keep surfacing as ill-effects. Battling with those requires a much more constructive and collaborative approach that Blockchain allows through its unique values.