In a recent interview with Digital, Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., emphasized the urgent need to address the growing threat of deepfakes, AI-generated content that can be used to spread misinformation and manipulate public opinion. Mace, who chairs the House Oversight’s Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Government Innovation, is set to lead a hearing on AI deepfakes next week.
Mace expressed concern over the increasing prevalence of deepfakes and their potential impact on various aspects of society. She highlighted that approximately 90% of AI-generated deepfakes are pornographic, including explicit material involving minors. This alarming trend raises serious ethical and legal concerns.
Furthermore, Mace pointed out the potential influence of deepfakes on elections. With the upcoming election year, the congresswoman warned about the possibility of deepfakes being used to sway public opinion and manipulate the democratic process. Propaganda campaigns utilizing deepfakes have already been observed in different countries and conflicts.
The risks associated with deepfakes were exemplified by recent incidents. An AI-generated image depicting an explosion at the Pentagon caused panic and even temporarily impacted financial markets. Another deepfake video featuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seemingly yielding to Russia’s demands raised concerns about more sophisticated attempts in the future.
During the upcoming hearing, Mace intends to explore potential solutions to combat deepfakes. She plans to inquire about methods to enhance detection and authentication processes to ensure the public can identify AI-generated content. Mace also suggests the possibility of implementing labeling or disclosure requirements for AI-generated material, promoting transparency and awareness.
Addressing the potential consequences for everyday Americans and future elections, Mace emphasizes the importance of staying one step ahead of AI advancements. She raises the question of whether technology will reach a point where it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish between real and fake content.
The hearing will provide a platform for experts to share their knowledge and insights on AI deepfakes. By engaging with AI specialists, Mace aims to foster a comprehensive understanding of the issue and explore effective strategies to mitigate its negative impacts.
As the threat of deepfakes continues to grow, lawmakers and experts must collaborate to develop robust countermeasures. By staying vigilant and proactive, society can safeguard against the potential dangers posed by AI-generated content.
About the Author:
Elizabeth Elkind is a reporter for Digital, specializing in coverage of Congress and the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and politics. With previous digital bylines at Daily Mail and CBS News, Elkind brings a wealth of experience to her reporting. Follow her on Twitter at @liz_elkind and reach out with tips to [email protected].
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