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Deep Fakes UPSC NOTE


What are deepfakes?

  • Deepfakes are digital media - video, audio, and images edited and manipulated using Artificial Intelligence.

  • It is basically hyper-realistic digital falsification.

  • Deepfakes are created to inflict harm on individuals and institutions.

  • Access to commodity cloud computing, public research AI algorithms, and abundant data and availability of vast media have created a perfect storm to democratise the creation and manipulation of media.

  • This synthetic media content is referred to as deepfakes.

Benefits of deepfakes

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)-Generated Synthetic media or deepfakes have clear benefits in certain areas, such as accessibility, education, film production, criminal forensics, and artistic expression.

Cons of deepfakes

  • Risk of exploitation. 

  • Deepfakes can be used to damage reputation, fabricate evidence,  defraud the public, and  undermine trust in democratic institutions. 

Who are the victims?

  • The first case of malicious use of deepfake was detected in pornography.

  • Deepfake pornography exclusively targets women. 

  • Pornographic deepfakes can threaten, intimidate, and inflict psychological harm. 

  • It reduces women to sexual objects causing emotional distress, and in some cases, lead to financial loss and collateral consequences like job loss.

  • Deepfake can depict a person as indulging in antisocial behaviors and saying vile things that they never did. 

  • Even if the victim could debunk the fake via alibi or otherwise, that fix may come too late to remedy the initial harm.

  • Deepfakes can also cause short-term and long-term social harm and accelerate the already declining trust in traditional media. 

  • Such erosion can contribute to a culture of factual relativism, fraying the increasingly strained civil society fabric.

  • Deepfake could act as a powerful tool by a malicious nation-state to undermine public safety and create uncertainty and chaos in the target country. 

  • Deepfakes can undermine trust in institutions and diplomacy.

  • Deepfakes can be used by non-state actors, such as insurgent groups and terrorist organisations, to show their adversaries as making inflammatory speeches or engaging in provocative actions to stir anti-state sentiments among people.

  • Another concern from deepfakes is the liar’s dividend; an undesirable truth is dismissed as deepfake or fake news. 

  • The mere existence of deepfakes gives more credibility to denials. 

  • Leaders may weaponise deepfakes and use fake news and alternative-facts narrative to dismiss an actual piece of media and truth.

What is the solution?

  • Media literacy efforts must be enhanced to cultivate a discerning public.

  • Media literacy for consumers 

  • Need meaningful regulations with a collaborative discussion with the technology industry, civil society, and policymakers to develop legislative solutions to disincentivizing the creation and distribution of malicious deepfakes.

  • Social media platforms are taking cognizance of the deepfake issue, and almost all of them have some policy or acceptable terms of use for deepfakes.

  • We also need easy-to-use and accessible technology solutions to detect deepfakes, authenticate media, and amplify authoritative sources.

  • To counter the menace of deepfakes, we all must take the responsibility to be critical consumers of media on the Internet, think and pause before we share on social media, and be part of the solution to this ‘infodemic’.

Steps taken by other countries

  • China has responded strongest.

  • China has banned deepfaked visuals whose creators don’t have permission to modify the original material and which aren’t watermarked accordingly. 

  • The success of this policy is no doubt assured by the country’s existing surveillance network. 

  • Every measure short of this requires at least an ampoule of self-restraint.  And that is rooted in the kind of people that we are.

Laws in India

  • In India, however, there are no legal rules against using deepfake technology.

  • However, specific laws can be addressed for misusing the tech, which include Copyright Violation, Defamation and cyber felonies.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Deep Fakes UPSC NOTE
Deep Fakes UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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