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Deep fakes

Computer-manipulated media in which one person’s likeness is superimposed onto another person in an image or video.

Such fakery typically involves the use of AI technology to create believable illusions. It has serious potential to undermine trust: afterall, viewers might question whether they can trust what their eyes are seeing.

What is it?

The manipulation of digital media to superimpose one person’s likeness onto that of a different person in an image or video.

What’s in it for you?

Deep fakes are distortions of truth — whether that’s for comedic or malicious purposes. You need to be aware of how to respond if your enterprise is the target.

What are the trade-offs?

The real downside to deep fakes is that the better they get, the less we can take digital media at face value.

How is it being used?

Some deep fakes are intended for fun; some are purely malicious, designed to cause reputational harm to their targets.

What is it?


The use of AI and digital media manipulation to create false images and videos — where a someone is digitally superimposed onto another person in that image or footage.


Deep fakes are a powerful way to spread disinformation. Deep fakes have been used by a political campaign in India to make it appear a candidate spoke a language he does not, as well as a video of the Belgian prime minister supposedly promoting a link between deforestation and Covid-19.

What’s in for you?


Deep fakes are an example of the shifting world of hostile tech. At their most pernicious, they are a way to spread lies and damage reputations. As the fakery gets more sophisticated, it becomes more believable. It’s not hard to envisage deep fakes being used against companies and their executives to misrepresent their views.

What are the trade offs?


One of the most worrying aspects of deep fakes is their ability to undermine trust. From a business perspective, you may need to explore what steps you can take to protect your brand and ensure you don’t become victim to such fakery.

How is it being used?


Deep fakes began as an experiment into the manipulation of digital media. But quickly they’ve been taken up by those wanting to distort the truth — occasionally for humour, more worryingly for damaging reputations.


With early examples of deep fakes, it was relatively easy to spot the duplicity. But deep fakes are becoming more sophisticated — making it hard to trust what your eyes are seeing.

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