The Future of Fake News

Fake news spread like wildfire during and following the US election. People from all corners of the world were publishing hoax and factually inaccurate stories all over the internet in an attempt to make money and potentially sway the outcome of the election. But, now that the election has been and gone, will the rise of fake news stop? Unfortunately, it doesn’t look that way.

As technology advances the future of fake news becomes more and more concerning. People may be coming more clued up on how to debunk fake written news (see our previous blog post for help), but audio and video technology are now so sophisticated that TV and radio broadcasts are now able to be altered with great ease in real time.

Video Enhancement

A team from Stanford University conducted research into media manipulation and the results were frightening. Check out their real-time facial reenactment below:

Scary, right? And what’s worse is you don’t need an array of high-end computers and technical ability to alter video clips in this way, all you need is a standard, everyday webcam.

Audio Enhancement

It’s not just video that we need to be worried about. At a recent developers conference, Adobe exhibited their new product, nicknamed ‘Photoshop for audio’. In short, technologists are now able to change audio clips as long as 20 minutes to say something completely different in the exact voice as before. The potential is amazing, but there will always be individuals that look to take advantage of technology for dishonest purposes. Check it out in the video below:

This phenomenon leaves the future of the mass media in question. The ability for consumers to differentiate between real and fake news is getting more and more difficult as technology gets more and more sophisticated and the implications of this could be terrifying. How do you think technology will impact the future of (fake) news?

Article by Becky Nolan

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