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02019-11-27 | Uncategorized | 4 comments

If that doesn’t scare you, perhaps nothing ever will. :-)
This should have been released on Halloween…

I was surprised by how unaware some of the interviewed scientists were, apparently not concerned by what their technology might lead to and what might be accomplished with it. It’s not just the use for political purpose that is frightening, it could also be used to ruin people’s lives, say a high school rival or a former friend, a competitor etc…


  1. Victor H.

    Reminds me of that line from Jurassic Park, “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

    I agree with one of the comments made in the podcast which is that it’s probably better to have this technology known than for it to be a top secret weapon. No doubt it will be used as a weapon.

  2. Steve

    The emergence and commercialization of this type of technology is what led me to start recording “reference” versions of my lectures in class, so that even if a student records a video of a lecture or simply the audio portion, the original remains along with a hash (SHA-3) of the files themselves. I’m not attempting to stop the cloning of the audio or video, merely provide a reference of what was originally said in its context.

    Now I know (intellectually at least) that the probability that any student would waste their time on the alteration of an engineering lecture containing my voice or video image just to be ornery is pretty dang low. Still, one can never be too paranoid.

    • ottmar

      I think that’s very smart and not paranoid, but then again I am probably more paranoid than the average person. :-)
      My concern is with the damage that can be done with a doctored fake, even if you have proof of what really happened. To use an old media analogy: headlines are writ large on the front page and retractions are tiny and somewhere towards the end.

      • Steve

        You are right: there is a very significant affective asymmetry effect in play.

        …and you can end up spending 100X the amount of time and effort to repair a reputation than it took to damage it in the first place. I forget who’s law that is. Someone online has codified it, but I don’t recall the name.

        I did consider at the beginning of the current semester just not allowing phone cameras in class at all, but decided against it, because enforcement seemed intractable.


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