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AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All

An anonymous reader shares a report: In the future, deepfake videos and audiofakes may well be used to create distinct, sensational moments that commandeer a press cycle, or to distract from some other, more organic scandal. But undetectable textfakes — masked as regular chatter on Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and the like — have the potential to be far more subtle, far more prevalent, and far more sinister. The ability to manufacture a majority opinion, or create a fake-commenter arms race — with minimal potential for detection — would enable sophisticated, extensive influence campaigns. Pervasive generated text has the potential to warp our social communication ecosystem: algorithmically generated content receives algorithmically generated responses, which feeds into algorithmically mediated curation systems that surface information based on engagement.

Our trust in each other is fragmenting, and polarization is increasingly prevalent. As synthetic media of all types — text, video, photo, and audio — increases in prevalence, and as detection becomes more of a challenge, we will find it increasingly difficult to trust the content that we see. It may not be so simple to adapt, as we did to Photoshop, by using social pressure to moderate the extent of these tools’ use and accepting that the media surrounding us is not quite as it seems. This time around, we’ll also have to learn to be much more critical consumers of online content, evaluating the substance on its merits rather than its prevalence.

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