“Seeing is believing” is going the way of the dinosaur. The growth of technology to create or tamper with images has been nothing short of astounding. The accelerating pace of technology along with decreased costs have put image-faking capabilities in the hands of the general public.
An article in the May 26th Economist “Cinema, not verite” (see: https://www.economist.com/leaders/2018/05/26/a-faked-video-of-donald-trump-points-to-a-worrying-future, which is also a photo source) uses a fake video of Donald Trump to illustrate the point.
Today’s world thrives on communication – social media in particular. Propaganda is often crafted to appeal to people’s innate biases. Propaganda is constructed to appeal to what people want to hear because it confirms what they already believe.
By diligently using Artificial Intelligence and other automated tools not only can high quality fake images be created, but those images can be very broadly distributed in hopes of igniting even more viral distribution.
The Economist article concludes with “Technology could make the global village feel more like a fearful, distrusting swamp.
A complementary article was published by the Brookings Institute - (see: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2018/05/25/the-west-is-ill-prepared-for-the-wave-of-deep-fakes-that-artificial-intelligence-could-unleash/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=63300653
A growing cottage industry of search engine optimization (SEO) manipulation provides services to clients looking to rise in the Google rankings.” Which, while relates to the business of Google searches, is an intelligence indicator that the tools to manipulate how people look for and find information are also readily available.
The PSYOP Community needs to insure that our counter-propaganda toolbox is as rich.