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Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

Niles North High School | Skokie, IL

North Star News

We are in AI deepfake danger

AI+can+be+used+to+generate+deepfakes+of+celebrities%2C+politicians%2C+and+the+average+civilian.
Penelope Roewe
AI can be used to generate “deepfakes” of celebrities, politicians, and the average civilian.

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a popular tool used by millions. AI is the most powerful tool on the planet, and when used for good, has a bright future for causes such as facial recognition in criminal cases, medical imagery analysis, language translation, and more. AI has shown much promise to improve various industries, but its potential dangers might outweigh the good, notably when it comes to these AI-generated deepfakes. 

Photos, videos, and soundbites that are created using AI to impersonate people are known as deepfakes. Experts are working hard to exterminate these deceptive deepfakes, but the task is deeming itself near impossible. While the main targets of these attacks have been celebrities and politicians, this could lead to a scary path for everyone. As AI has grown in popularity and accessibility, it’s becoming clear that there needs to be legislation in place to prevent dangerous and exploitative AI content from spreading. 

With an upcoming election, these deepfakes are a recipe for disinformation. Last month, robocall voicemails discouraging Democrats from voting were sent out in what sounded like Joe Biden’s voice. Thousands of deepfake videos of various politicians have circulated online. Using deepfake AI, it can be made to look like a politician said something that they really never said. The technology on these videos is so advanced that it can be hard to tell what’s real and what’s not. 

These deepfakes can even play personally with the average consumer. Just a few days ago, a Hong Kong company was scammed $25 million dollars when a video call with the “chief financial advisor” was really just a deepfake. While this is an example of a large corporation being scammed by AI, nothing is stopping AI criminals from scamming an individual. Deepfakes can be used to impersonate banks calling their customers.

The use of AI deepfakes is not just a political or economic issue but also a social issue. Last week, explicit AI generated images of Taylor Swift circulated X. The pornographic images were viewed millions of times before being wiped from the site, however these pictures still remain in the dark corners of the internet, as nothing ever goes away. Unfortunately, images and videos like these, known as “revenge porn,” are not uncommon, affecting mostly women. It can happen to anyone. These pieces of media are extremely exploitative and disgusting, yet they look authentic.

But it’s almost scary that you have the ability to manipulate something like that. And especially with the stuff that’s been going around on Twitter about Taylor Swift and things like that. Technology kind of just gives you the power to change the course is somebody else’s life.

— Asmaa Khan, junior

AI has the power to damage lives if abused. Junior Asmaa Khan understands that AI has the potential for good, but fears for the manipulation of the technology.

“It’s people use [AI] and they use in such impressive ways,” Khan said. “But it’s almost scary that you have the ability to manipulate something like that. And especially with the stuff that’s been going around on Twitter about Taylor Swift and things like that. Technology kind of just gives you the power to change the course is somebody else’s life.”

From political disinformation to scams to inappropriate images, it’s clear that AI can be extremely harmful to the individual. Government legislation is needed to prevent these dangers from expanding even further, especially when it comes to deepfakes. Not only can deepfakes affect prominent figures but could affect anyone with access to technology. It’s a scary thing, and there needs to be limits and laws in place for these deepfakes and the privacy of Americans. It’s scary because even with all the laws in place, regulation of this technology is nearly impossible on the dark web. 

It’s already hard to trust one another in this day and age with misinformation on social media, but it’s about to become a dystopia alive with the use of AI.

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About the Contributor
Penelope Roewe, Managing Editor & Opinion Editor
Penelope is a junior and this is her third year on NSN, serving as Managing Editor and the Opinions and Photos editor. She loves to express her opinions through writing. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, watching Gilmore Girls, and reading books.

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