Beyond Taylor Swift: Why Deepfakes are a Dangerous Distortion of Reality

Soul Machines
2 min readMar 8, 2024

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As CEO of Soul Machines, a Deep Tech AI company, I am deeply invested in harnessing the power of artificial intelligence for good. But let me be clear: deepfakes and deepfake videos are not the path forward if the goal is a trusted relationship between human beings and AI . The combination of deepfake produced content and social media platforms is going to create massive issues in 2024. Think fake news on steroids!

Deepfakes, for those unfamiliar, use AI to manipulate images, videos and audio, creating eerily realistic portrayals of people saying or doing things they never did. This technology poses a clear and present danger to trust, truth, and individual privacy. Imagine waking up to a video seemingly showing you engaged in illegal activity, fabricated by someone with malicious intent. The potential for reputation damage, emotional distress, and even manipulation of elections is chilling. And the tools to do this are largely open sourced and readily available to anyone.

Beyond ethics, deepfakes suffer from fundamental limitations. Creating convincing deepfakes remains costly and requires significant technical expertise, limiting their widespread accessibility. Worse, they often hinge on capturing vast amounts of personal data, raising serious privacy concerns.

Instead of investing in this ethically fraught and technically limited technology, let’s channel our resources towards a more promising path: multimodal cognitive science-based AI, or what we call Biological AI. This approach seeks to create AI systems that understand and interact with the world in the way humans do — through sight, sound, touch, and other sensory inputs. This holistic understanding is key to unlocking AI’s true potential:

  • Combating misinformation: Multimodal AI can analyze information from various sources, including text, images, and audio, to verify its authenticity and combat the spread of deepfakes and other manipulative content.
  • Promoting human interaction: By understanding human emotions and intentions, AI can facilitate natural and effective communication, fostering collaboration and trust.
  • Boosting accessibility: This approach, focused on understanding, not replicating, can lead to AI systems that are easier to develop and use, democratizing access to this powerful technology.

The future of AI lies not in manipulating reality, but in enhancing our understanding of it. By focusing on Biological AI, we can create AI systems that are ethical, effective, and truly transformative. Let’s choose a path that empowers individuals, fosters trust, and builds a future where AI enriches our lives, not distorts them.

This is the AI future we deserve.

-Greg Cross

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