Deepfakes and the Infocalypse Book Summary - Deepfakes and the Infocalypse Book explained in key points
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Deepfakes and the Infocalypse summary

Nina Schick

What You Urgently Need To Know

3.9 (117 ratings)
23 mins

Brief summary

'Deepfakes and the Infocalypse' by Nina Schick explores the dangers of AI-generated digital content. The book looks at the potential impact on politics, society, privacy, and national security, and offers solutions for combating the spread of misinformation and fake news.

Table of Contents

    Deepfakes and the Infocalypse
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    Photo, video, and audio manipulation have become easy thanks to AI.

    In the nineteenth century, humans invented photography. For the first time, we could capture a true, seemingly incontrovertible slice of reality. But very soon, it became clear that “reality” could be not only captured, but also manipulated. 

    At first, altering photos was a painstaking process. Over time, though, it became simpler. Now, anyone can do it – just download a free app. As a result, we’ve become used to the idea that photos can be altered and know to look out for any retouching or editing. 

    But aren’t audio and video different? Surely they can’t be convincingly faked, right? In fact, new developments in artificial intelligence confirm quite the opposite.

    The key message here is: Photo, video, and audio manipulation have become easy thanks to AI.

    AI - or artificial intelligence - is software that processes information through deep learning. It enables AI to make decisions autonomously, based on what it’s “learned” after crunching large amounts of data. The term “deepfake” is derived from this “deep learning,” plus – for obvious reasons – the word “fake.”

    The first deepfakes showed how AI can swap a person’s face into an existing video. They were posted on the website Reddit by an anonymous user.

    Before long, they were attracting some worrying attention. In late 2017, a journalist named Samantha Cole published an article called “AI-Assisted Fake Porn is Here, and We’re All Fucked.” Her story warned of a Reddit forum full of deepfake porn. Its founder used AI to swap the faces of Hollywood celebrities onto the bodies of porn stars.

    Deepfake porn is non-consensual, deeply embarrassing, and demeaning. And it doesn’t matter how rich you are – there’s nothing you can do to wipe it off the internet. Even Scarlett Johansson, the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, couldn’t protect her own name from it.

    The fake porn forum on Reddit was eventually taken down. But its creator shared the code that he’d used to make the deepfakes. Now, there’s a whole suite of free tools and software out there, open to anyone who wants to produce their own deepfakes. 

    Sounds horrifying, doesn’t it? But this is all just the tip of the iceberg. Deepfake technology is continuing to improve. Soon, it may become literally impossible to tell when an image, video, or audio clip is fake. This technology is already leading us down a dark path of mis- and disinformation.

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    What is Deepfakes and the Infocalypse about?

    Deepfakes and the Infocalypse (2020) is an urgent warning about the dangers posed by fake – but extremely realistic – audiovisual material called deepfakes. They are powered by artificial intelligence, and scammers and hackers are already using them to defraud businesses and harass individuals. Governments are joining in, as well; the use of deepfakes for propaganda is growing. We need to actively prepare for a time when deepfakes become commonplace. If we don’t, we’ll barrel headfirst into an information apocalypse.

    Deepfakes and the Infocalypse Review

    Deepfakes and the Infocalypse (2020) explores the dangerous implications of rapidly advancing technology on society and the spread of misinformation. Here's what makes this book worth reading:

    • Provides an in-depth examination of the rise of deepfake technology and its potential to disrupt politics, media, and public perception.
    • Offers insightful analysis on the broader impact of deepfakes, including the erosion of trust, the acceleration of disinformation campaigns, and the challenges of navigating an increasingly complex media landscape.
    • With its detailed research and thought-provoking arguments, it presents a timely and urgent exploration of the threats posed by this technology.

    Who should read Deepfakes and the Infocalypse?

    • Anyone who hasn’t heard of deepfakes
    • Citizens concerned about political polarization and the breakdown of trust in society
    • Tech-savvy individuals who feel they can’t be fooled by fake content

    About the Author

    Nina Schick is a political consultant, broadcaster, and author who focuses on the intersection between technology and politics. Formerly, she served as the Communications Director of Open Europe – a think tank dedicated to EU reform. Schick is a contributor to Bloomberg, Sky, CNN, and the BBC, and her work has been published by CNN, the Times, and the Sunday Telegraph.

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    Deepfakes and the Infocalypse FAQs 

    What is the main message of Deepfakes and the Infocalypse?

    The main message of Deepfakes and the Infocalypse warns us about the dangers of AI-generated misinformation and the urgent need for media literacy.

    How long does it take to read Deepfakes and the Infocalypse?

    The estimated reading time for Deepfakes and the Infocalypse varies, but it can be read in a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Deepfakes and the Infocalypse a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Deepfakes and the Infocalypse is a crucial read for understanding the threat of deepfakes and AI-generated misinformation in today's digital age.

    Who is the author of Deepfakes and the Infocalypse?

    The author of Deepfakes and the Infocalypse is Nina Schick.

    What to read after Deepfakes and the Infocalypse?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Deepfakes and the Infocalypse, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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