One theme that has exploded over the last four to five months that we have not really covered in this rag is advancements in artificial intelligence that is now accessible to the public. You may have noticed that we have incorporated some AI into our workflow with our thumbnails. A neat tool that has allowed us to create unique artwork. While the AI generated images are cool, they are only one tip of the massive iceberg that this technology is about to unleash on the world. And if you're a bitcoiner, you should be aware of things that await on the horizon as these tools become more refined. The thing that worries me particularly are the deepfakes that are about to become much more common.
For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of a deepfake, it is a realistic AI generated video representation of individuals doing and saying things they didn't actually do or say. They are complete fabrications. Deepfakes were at the forefront of the conversation in the world of streaming over the weekend after a popular streamer, QTCinderella, was sent a deepfake video of her doing porn.
This is a very creepy trend that will only continue to escalate from here. However, it is just the beginning of the infiltration that deepfakes will have throughout our culture. What's most worrying is the potential scenario described in the clip from the video game Metal Gear at the top of this issue. This technology is going to get so good that it will be virtually impossible for individuals to discern between videos of events that actually happened in meat space and pure fabrications created with artificial intelligence. As The Sovereign Individual predicted, the noise (deepfakes) to signal (reality) ratio will only increase exponentially from here and it will become harder and harder to separate pure fiction from real life. This is the natural progression of a world that is becoming increasingly digital. A progression that is exacerbated by the fact that people are becoming more and more dumbed down while technology is becoming more and more advanced.
It is very possible that we will soon see deepfakes of politicians making bombastic statements, attacks on civilians and strategic assets, and celebrities saying and doing insane things. All in an attempt to stoke unrest and ruin reputations. If things get out of hand and people react with force to something completely fabricated it is not hard to imagine that those at the helms of governments and intelligence agencies will step in to "instill order" by attempting to curb the ability of individuals to post content. Instituting Draconian laws that aim to restrict the ability of the Common Man to access certain parts of the Internet while instituting a digital ID system that turns the Internet into a digital gulag that operates on a two-tiered system of those who are surveilled and those who have access to the most powerful cutting edge technology that can easily be weaponized against the unwitting masses.
It may seem a bit tinfoil-hat'ish but the scenario laid out in the clip from Metal Gear doesn't seem so far fetched. The history of the last century has been littered with corrupt governments and intelligence agencies using the Hegelian dialectic; creating problems so they can swoop in with solutions that result in more power and control over the Common Man. It would not be surprising in the least bit to come to find that governments plan to unleash deepfakes so that they can justify restrictions on individuals' freedom in the digital world.
As it pertains to bitcoin, it will probably be a lot easier for identity thieves to deepfake exchanges into believing that they are legitimate customers. We don't seem too far away from the point at which an AI image generator can produce what looks to be a picture of you holding up your passport with a disheveled apartment in the background. Or to pretend to be someone you need to send bitcoin to during a live video conference call you are attempting to use as verification before releasing funds.
In a future wrought with deepfakes it will be more important than ever to make sure you are holding your own keys and have multiple avenues through which you confirm with counter-parties that they are who you believe they are before sending funds.
My wife discovered the best way to feed our son eggs without him knowing he is eating eggs.