Thankfully, this year’s election season is finally over, but in this year alone, we’ve been introduced to two new technologies that are going to reshape how propaganda will be used in the future. If you thought all of the hacking and email fabrications were bad this year, just you wait for audio and facial hacking!
“When recording voiceovers, dialogue, and narration, wouldn’t you love the option to edit or insert a few words without the hassle of recreating the recording environment or bringing the voiceover artist in for another session? #VoCo allows you to change words in a voiceover simply by typing new words.”
Oh, wait. We already can! Thanks to researchers from Stanford, you can now easily edit both lip and facial movements of a pre-recorded video, as demonstrated below. So whether it’s Donald Trump or Vladimir Putin, both can now say whatever you want them to say.
Now imagine a future where these two technologies are used together and are used for nefarious reasons. Election seasons are almost always filled with nasty and false propaganda being perpetuated by both the candidates and media. But it’s usually easy to determine whether the propaganda is real or false. With these technologies, however, it might become a lot more difficult in determining the veracity of a leaked video making its rounds throughout social media outlets.
Imagine how these technologies could’ve been used during this election season, had they actually been used. If someone were to share an edited video, with edited audio, showing Hillary Clinton supposedly saying that she paid off the FBI from arresting her over the whole email debacle, a lot of people would easily fall for it. Similarly, if someone were to share a video of Donald Trump supposedly shouting racial slurs and obscenities towards both black and Latino people, a lot of people would easily fall for it as well. In doing so, these technologies could very well destroy future political careers – or any careers for that matter – even though it was all fabricated. Thus marks the future of propaganda!