Digital democracy International

Deepfakes: A new disinformation threat?

Highly realistic manipulated videos generated by artificial intelligence (AI), so-called deepfakes, are just around the corner. Concerns are rising that this technology will be used for disinformation purposes. When seeing is no longer believing, what does this mean for truth in democratic discourse and holding governments accountable?   

In this paper, DRI's Madeline Brady breaks down deepfakes as a disinformation tool and their potential harm. Are deepfakes truly the next disinformation threat or are they overhyped? We also provide an overview of how relevant actors have already addressed this threat through technical solutions and policy responses.  

This is the first in a three-part series exploring deepfakes as an emerging disinformation threat forms. In the upcoming papers, DRI will dive deeper into the issue by interviewing policymakers, social media companies, academia, civil society organisations and others to learn more about their perception of the problem and what needs to be done to minimise it. In the final paper, DRI will make specific recommendations, particularly in relation to disinformation during elections.  

This series is part of a project funded by the German Federal Foreign Office. 


2020-09-01-DRI-deepfake-publication-no-1 Download

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