Skip to main content

How creative AI techniques became a threat for national security

 In 2014, a 28-year-old American researcher called Ian Goodfellow published a paper called Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) that presented a powerful technique to generate brand new images (i.e., human faces) with Artificial Intelligence.

Goodfellow's idea got a lot of attention from the academic and industry communities and new research papers followed improving the state of the art and, as it can be seen in the images below, the perceived quality of the human faces that GANs generated.

Needless to say that none of these six people actually exists. However, for the last three ones, only a skilled computer forensic would be able to detect the deception.

GANs are making a tremendous positive impact in different domains, such as healthcare or in creative industries. Unfortunately, malicious applications of this apparently harmless technique are emerging and posing a thread to our personal and even national security.

Scams. Deep Learning has become a gold mine for criminal organizations that combine hyperrealistic GAN-generated faces with voice synthesizers to perform scams online. The so-called romance scams, for example, cost Americans $143M in 2018.

Revenge porn. One of the most shameful applications of this technology is to ruin people's reputation by creating footages of sexual acts with the target person's face. According to this research, 100% of the victims of these videos were women.

Fake news. Deepfake videos are a threat to national security, according to the Pentagon. The defense and intelligence services fear scenarios targeting democratic processes (manipulate elections) and the incitement of crowd mobilization under false pretenses. This deepfake video of former US President Barack Obama is an example of the dangers this technique poses.

Improving the deception detection techniques, together with more strict laws controlling unethical uses of these technologies, is essential in order to limit the negative impacts on our society.

Nevertheless, it is not only up to the research community and the authorities to tackle this issue. We citizens must strengthen our awareness of these threats and be more suspicious when consuming digital content from untrusted sources.

Popular posts from this blog

How to jump to time offsets in HTML5 video

Let's say that you have a 30-minute WEBM video file, from which you just want to play the following video segments , jumping from one to the other automatically  without interruptions : [00:01:25.00 - 00:02:25.00] -> from second 85 to 145 [00:11:40.00 - 00:11:55.00] -> from second 700 to 715 [00:20:26.00 - 00:21:07.00] -> from second 1226 to 1267 [00:26:11.00 - 00:28:01.00] -> from second 1571 to 1681 To increase the complexity, let's think that you have these video segments in a PHP variable $arrayVideoSegments  (normally the case if they were retrieved from the database).   $arrayVideoSegments[0]->startTime = 85   $arrayVideoSegments[0]->endTime = 145   $arrayVideoSegments[1]->startTime = 700   $arrayVideoSegments[1]->endTime = 715   $arrayVideoSegments[2]->startTime = 1226   $arrayVideoSegments[2]->endTime = 1267   $arrayVideoSegments[3]->startTime = 1571   $arrayVideoSegments[3]->endTime = 1681 The

5 learnings from a techie turned into a NFT artist

In September 2021 I chose to sell my crypto AI art business after two enriching (and often painful) years as a part-time sole founder. Today  AImade.art  is one of the best-selling AI art collections on Opensea . I want to share with you some of the key lessons I learned during this period: Work hard and get lucky.  And I got really lucky. On February 24th 2021 I had planned to shut down AImade.art , back then a business selling AI Art printed on canvas. I was discouraged after several months with no sales and my Shopify billing cycle was ending that day. Then something incredible happened: I missed the Shopify deadline and I sold an artwork one hour later. The buyer asked me: " Can I get it in as an NFT? ". I had absolutely no idea what an NFT was, but after a bit of research I found the concept so interesting that, two days later, I had pivoted the entire business to  NFT art made by AI . Sales started to pick up: I had finally found product-market fit . Impostor syndr

Learnings from "The 7 habits of highly effective people"

I just finished reading " The 7 habits of highly effective people ", a best-seller by Stephen R. Covey, that has inspired me in many levels. I am sharing some of the learnings I got, mostly as a personal bookmark, but hopefully this post can be useful for the community. Habit 1: Be Proactive It is not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that hurts us.  There is a space between stimulus and response, and the key to our growth and happiness is how we use that space. While reactive people feel victimized and out of control, proactive people have the power to choose how to respond to any circumstances (i.e., smiling with bad weather). We must focus our efforts on the things we can do something about, and accept what we can't change (past events, weather,...). Try replacing victimized language (i.e., " There is nothing I can do ", " I have to do it ",...) with proactive language (" Let's see all the options "