Fake news has already fanned the flames of distrust towards media, politics and established institutions around the world. And while new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) might make things even worse, it can also be used to combat misinformation.
Artificial intelligence can be used to create deep fakes - audio, pictures and videos that make people say and do things they never did.
Want to make yourself sound like Obama? In the past, that might have required physically imitating his voice, party-trick style. And even if you were very good at it, it almost certainly wouldn’t present a danger to our democracy. But technology has changed that. You can now easily and accurately make anyone say anything through AI. Just use the service of an online program to record a sentence and listen to what you said in a famous person's voice.
Programs like this are often called deep fakes - AI systems that adapt audio, pictures and videos to make people say and do things they never did.