“Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse” by Nina Schick

Nina Schick’s “Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse” is an extraordinary book for it details the manner in which AI is being to simulate humans, especially celebrities, and spread misinformation. It is also used to slander reputations. Manipulation of social media by people who are able to use AI to their “advantage” is a horrific thought with widespread implications. It is precisely this that Nina Schick documents. Surprisingly though technological advancements know no geopolitical barriers and nor do major social media companies seem to respect any political borders, the book’s initial chapters dissect the influence of social media across known geographies. It is an interesting aspect that gets highlighted by this very fact though not always explicitly stated. Digital technology firms are fast becoming powers unto themselves and jostling for space with nation states. It is a new world with these grey areas that need new rules of governance so as to ensure that the individuals and firms manipulating AI to create synthetic media can be regulated before they create any further damage in the real world. Shredding people’s reputations is only one aspect. Using AI in connivance with unscrupulous political strategists can even determine the future of democracies. It is a real danger that needs to be safeguarded against as exemplified by the Estonia and Russia incident shared in the book.

This is a real eye-opener of a book. Worth reading!

4 October 2020

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