Soumya Prakash Pradhan

Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace and its evolution is bringing both exciting innovations and some unsettling developments.

The current era is witnessing a profound transformation centered around emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR), the Metaverse, Robotics, and numerous others.

One of the most significant concerns in this rapidly changing technological landscape is the rise of Deepfake technology.

In this discussion, here is the intricacies of Deepfake technology, provide illustrative examples, and offer insights on how to protect oneself in this era of rapid technological growth.

What is Deepfake

Deepfake technology is like magic for videos. It allows people to change faces and voices in videos, making it appear as if someone else is talking or doing things they did not do.

It is achieved using computers to swap faces and voices. While it can be used for fun or entertainment, it can also be misused to create fake news or deceive others.

Therefore, deepfakes can be both amusing and misleading, so caution is necessary when encountering them online.

Artificial intelligence has led to a surge in fake explicit images and videos, made possible by affordable and user-friendly AI tools that can manipulate images or insert faces into inappropriate content.

Legal scholars have raised concerns about AI-generated fake images, as they may not fall under copyright protection for personal likenesses, given the vast datasets they draw from, as per The Washington Post.

Deepfake technology is one downside of the ever-evolving field of AI.

It enables cybercriminals not only to mimic voices but also to manipulate videos to appear genuine.

A recent incident involving actress Rashmika Mandanna is going viral with a deepfake video causing widespread concern.

Journalist Abhishek shared the original video of Zara Patel, explaining the deception in a tweet thread.

This case exemplifies the danger of deepfakes, with prominent figures like Amitabh Bachchan and Union Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar emphasising the need for legal action against such malicious use.

It is vital for people to be aware of and protect themselves in this digital era, where AI is one of the fastest-growing technologies.

AI has immense potential but also poses risks, especially for online security. Here are 10 key points to stay cautious about deepfakes:

For Digital Users

  1. Learn about what deepfakes are and how they operate, the first step in safeguarding yourself.
  2. Confirm the credibility of media content; seek multiple reliable sources if in doubt.
  3. Adjust social media privacy settings to control who can access your personal information and media.
  4. Create strong and unique passwords; consider using a password manager.
  5. Be cautious with suspicious emails or messages asking for personal information; avoid clicking unknown links.
  6. Keep your devices updated with the latest security patches and use reputable antivirus software.
  7. Add an extra layer of security by using two-factor authentication where available.
  8. Consider the consequences before sharing sensitive information or personal media.
  9. If you come across deepfake content or online manipulation, report it to the platform or authorities.
  10. Be aware that deepfake technology is evolving; stay alert and adapt to new threats.

For Parents

  1. Teach your children about the dangers of deepfakes and how to recognise and handle suspicious content.
  2. Establish guidelines for your family's online activities, including what they share and with whom they interact.
  3. Keep an eye on your children's online time to ensure a healthy balance between online and offline activities.
  4. Create an environment where your children feel comfortable discussing their online experiences and concerns with you.
  5. Implement parental control tools and filters to limit access to inappropriate content.
  6. Help your children develop critical thinking skills to assess the credibility of online information.
  7. Be a role model for responsible online behavior and share your knowledge about online safety with your family.
  8. Periodically review your children's devices to ensure they follow online safety guidelines.
  9. Stay informed about new online threats, technologies, and trends to better protect your family.
  10. Report deepfake content or other online risks to the appropriate authorities and platforms.