As artificial intelligence makes leap after quantum leap, we are faced with the very real problem of discerning what is real and what is synthetic media. We’ve all seen deepfake videos that seem absolutely real, and it’s not hard to see the threat this poses to nearly every aspect of our lives and of our society. How do we fight back against the fakers?
You might think the best way would be to develop some super technology that could detect every sign of tampering and unmask all the counterfeits. But the major tech companies working on this problem realized that such a war would never end; the bad actors would keep developing new ways to evade detection. Instead, they’ve developed something called “content credentials” to verify that something is the real deal. Rather than setting out to prove something is false, they set out to prove something is true.
There is deep wisdom in this response to deepfake.
Most of the political and religious figures around us are trying to prove that something is false, that some person is sinister, that whole groups of people pretend to be good, but are evil. They don’t tell us what is true and good and beautiful—only what is despicable and must be attacked. It would be much better if they could simply tell us what, in their own humble experience, is the truest thing they know. Instead of telling us your hell, why not sing us your heaven?
Every one of us is tempted to focus our precious energies on what’s bad and wrong. We spend all day naming, judging, and condemning people and things and ideas—or listening to those who do. And at the end of the day we feel empty and sad. The soul cannot live on a diet of wrong. It craves what is right. Like this: “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things” (Phil 4:8).