Before OpenAI, the company behind both ChatGPT and DALL-E, the sustained panic centered around deepfake videos, produced by generative adversarial networks (GANs). Everybody feared that deepfake videos would become the ultimate tool for spreading disinformation. Deepfakes, we were told, could produce “evidence” that political leaders, for example, said or did things they never said or did.
Deepfake fears haven’t been realized yet. The tech isn’t convincing enough. (And, once they are convincing, I fear the bigger threat will be that people caught on video will plausibly deny the truth by falsely claiming the real video is a deepfake.)
But this week a new panic set in. Rumors circulated about the imminent indictment and arrest of former president Donald Trump (rumors started by Trump himself in a Truth Social post that falsely claimed he’d be arrested Tuesday).