Can artificial intelligence help end fake news?

Want to make yourself sound like Obama? In the past, that might have required physically imitating his voice, party-trick style. And even if you were very good at it, it almost certainly wouldn’t present a danger to our democracy. But technology has changed that. You can now easily and accurately make anyone say anything through AI. Just use the service of an online program to record a sentence and listen to what you said in a famous person’s voice.

Programs like this are often called deep fakes – AI systems that adapt audio, pictures and videos to make people say and do things they never did.

These technologies could launch a new era of fake news and online misinformation. In 2017, Hany Farid, a computer scientist at Dartmouth College,US, who detects fake videos said the rapid proliferation of new manipulation techniques has led to an ‘arms race’. Just imagine what elections will be like when we’re no longer able to trust video and audio. But some researchers are now fighting back and showing that AI can also be used for good. more

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