The White House wants to “cryptographically verify” videos in the fight against deepfakes

Business Insider reported that the White House is working to cryptographically verify its videos. The move comes in response to the increasing prevalence of deepfake videos.

What are deepfakes?

Deepfake videos are videos generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The videos are called deepfakes because they use a form of AI called deep learning to make fake videos. These videos feature real people such as celebrities or politicians saying things that the real person never said. However, they can look so realistic that many people believe the content to be real. In addition to videos, there are deepfake images and audio files.

Why is this an issue?

The use of generative AI has become much more widespread since the release of ChatGPT and other AI tools. In January this year, Democratic voters in New Hampshire received phone calls telling them not to vote in the state’s upcoming primary election. These automated “robocalls” calls appeared to be legitimate as they used a record of President Biden’s voice. However, they were deepfakes.

What has the White House said?

Ben Buchanan, President Biden’s Special Advisor for Artificial Intelligence, discussed the issue with Business Insider. Buchanan said that the aim is to “essentially cryptographically verify” videos and statements from the White House. This means that anyone who watches a video released by the White House will know if it is genuine or not. However, it may not happen anytime soon as Buchanon said that developing the verification is a “longer process” that is still “in the works.”

What we think

The robocalls in New Hampshire were a troubling development in the world of deepfakes. An attempt to interfere with an election is a challenge to the basis of democracy and should worry everyone. The Federal Communications Commission has subsequently now declared that such calls are illegal. However, in the run-up to the upcoming elections, it’s clear to see that the White House is concerned. Hopefully, the verification process can be developed and implemented sooner rather than later.

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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