Venezuela, China, Biden and extraterrestrials: the disinformation of AI


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A blond tv presenter seemingly working for a channel known as the “House of News” seems into the digital camera and asks in English: “How true is it that Venezuela is such a poor country?”

However this man is just not a journalist—or perhaps a actual human being. He is an avatar generated by synthetic intelligence (AI), a device that’s turning into ever extra widespread in international disinformation.

Subtitled clips from this supposed news channel have appeared on social media with a transparent bias in direction of the Venezuelan authorities, making a scandal within the nation.

And this isn’t an remoted case.

“More and more regions are starting to refer to deep fakes and AI-generated audio-visuals as a threat, usually closer to elections,” Shirin Anlen, a media know-how professional from the Witness NGO, advised AFP.

Final month a US-based analysis agency recognized a faux information outlet known as “Wolf News” whose AI anchors pumped out propaganda selling the pursuits of the Chinese language Communist Party.

A doctored video of US President Joe Biden warning of the specter of an “extraterrestrial nature” went viral final month.

And final 12 months, a video confirmed Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky snorting cocaine whereas one other had US star Eminem attacking Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in a rap music.

Straightforward to make use of

The “House of News Espanol” avatars have been created by the Synthesia AI program.

Synthesia reported the faux news channel‘s content material on YouTube, which duly eliminated it.

“If you’re pretending to be a journalist, or you’re pretending to have breaking news, it’s going to be banned,” Synthesia spokeswoman Laura Morelli advised AFP.

Nevertheless state tv channel VTV performed a Home of News video that boasted about how a lot cash a home baseball competitors had made, regardless of no official figures present.

VTV’s excessive profile presenter, Barry Cartaya, even claimed the numbers have been being talked about “in the United States and a large part of Latin America.”

President Nicolas Maduro has bristled on the suggestion his authorities is behind the faux movies.

“It is not artificial intelligence, it is popular intelligence,” he stated final month. “I am a robot,” he added sarcastically, whereas attempting to mimic one.

‘A lie repeated 1,000 instances’

Home of News’ two presenters, Noah and Daren, are amongst Synthesia’s catalogue of 93 avatars—as are the Wolf News duo Alex and Jason.

Avatars have been additionally utilized in January to create movies of supposed Individuals supporting a coup in Burkina Faso.

In the meantime Fb’s dad or mum firm Meta just lately dismantled networks of faux accounts.

One, in Cuba, created faux identities “criticizing members of the opposition,” stated Ben Nimmo, Meta’s international risk intelligence lead.

Some used profile images that have been doubtless generated utilizing artificial intelligence, he stated, including: “This is a tactic that we’ve seen used more and more often by influence operations in the last few years.”

“These types of programs can be used by anyone with basic understanding,” stated Eduardo Mosqueira, a professor on the University of A Coruna.

Mosqueira says it isn’t troublesome to determine a faux video, however a lot more durable to decipher its origin.

“If they have been a tiny bit careful, I imagine it’s impossible,” he stated.

And, he provides, it’s “increasingly easy to program bots on social media that pretend to be real people and launch messages that you want to get across.”

As a rule, the tactic works.

Mosqueira explains it by citing a quote attributed to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels.

“A lie repeated 1,000 times becomes the truth,” he stated.

© 2023 AFP

Venezuela, China, Biden and extraterrestrials: the disinformation of AI (2023, March 17)
retrieved 17 March 2023

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