Discovering deep fakes
DO you know what a deep fake is?
I thought not.
Let me explain.
A deep fake is found in the rapidly developing world of digital afterlife.
This troubling technological advance is where it is possible to create a digital representation of a dead loved one, don virtual reality goggles and interact with them from beyond the grave.
Sounds strange and unnerving, but this another ‘amazing’ technological development made in the name of progress.
Deep fake software means anyone can be recreated on line and downloaded.
It’s made from all those photos and stories you wrote about yourself, using all the data you carelessly left lying around.
Sounds weird? It is.
And as usual, the development outstrips laws, moral dilemmas and concerns.
Immortality is promised.
A company can create a deep fake of a dead loved one and then you can meet up with them in virtual reality.
Similarly, a chatbot can be created from someone’s texts, which captures their personality and then allows you keep texting and chatting with them long after death.
It works as long as you carefully overlook the fact you are actually talking to a chatbot.
Investigate this disturbing world and it gets stranger.
Worried about your social presence after death?
Apparently, using bots you can make sure your Facebook page and Twitter accounts keeps going after you die.
Personally, I resist the intrusion of technology into such personal space along with the need to be immortal.
Also, how does anyone come to terms with loss if they keep interacting with technological versions of dead people?
The digital afterlife business, apparently, is thriving and it is largely unregulated.
It appears that there is nothing to stop a company making an algorithm of any deceased persons digital footprint and create a virtual persona and do with it what they will.
We can rely in the innate good nature and trustworthiness of humans, can’t we?
Do you feel comfortable with that?
Ethicists propose we treat digital remains like physical human remains and they must have guidelines and protections.
I find it unreliable and slightly sinister to exploit the world of grief and confusion.
But I fear my concerns will be swept away in the new shiny technology gold rush.
I am more of a fan of Rest in Peace.
Finally, a big shout out to the person who wrote to tell me I was Journalistic Dunce of the Year with my appalling and crappy column.
Hope you have a better day tomorrow.