Preparing for the Age of Deepfakes and Disinformation

Policy Brief
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POPULAR CULTURE HAS ENVISIONED SOCIETIES of intelligent machines for generations, with Alan Turing notably foreseeing the need for a test to distinguish machines from humans in 1950. Now, advances in artificial intelligence that promise to make creating convincing fake multimedia content like video, images, or audio relatively easy for many. Unfortunately, this will include sophisticated bots with supercharged self-improvement abilities that are capable of generating more dynamic fakes than anything seen before.

In our paper “How Relevant is the Turing Test in the Age of Sophisbots,” we argue that society is on the brink of an AI-driven technology that can simulate many of the most important hallmarks of human behavior. As the variety and scale of these so called “deepfakes” expands, they will likely be able to simulate human behavior so effectively and they will operate in such a dynamic manner that they will increasingly pass Turing’s test. 

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