There are some problems with 2025. Admittedly, things like Covid-19 aren’t the problem they were in your time, but I’m sorry to tell you that other crises have usurped them. I can’t get into it all right now, but this is a message for both the 2021 version of myself (who I’ll refer to as Evan-21), and the rest of you, who can learn from his mistake.
Around the summer of 2021, Evan-21 published something very stupid on Substack:
This is so funny and such a good idea
As you know, I’ll be releasing a book soon, and I briefly touch on the subject of “deepfakes”. It’s a new type of artificial intelligence-powered tool which can manipulate things like images and videos. It’s a problem because if it gets out of control, we won’t know what’s real. Which is to say we’ll be even less sure of reality than we are now. So I think the subject deserves some attention.
I have a vested interest in wanting there to be more discussion about solving or at least combatting the problem, because if I become any kind of public political figure, I’ll be vulnerable to this as a kind of attack on my character, credibility, and trust with my readers. Can you imagine seeing convincing videos of me doing or saying the most horrible things, but not knowing if it was genuine or “ synthetic” media? In my book, I reference Nina Schick’s book about deepfake technology, which I recommend along with this interview she did with Andrew Yang.
A short excerpt from my book where I reference Schick’s work:
“She points out that anyone with videos of themselves online will be susceptible to completely realistic deepfake manipulation of that content. And that means there will be convincing video and audio fabrication. The person in the deepfake will look and sound just like you, and the deepfaker can pull the puppet-strings however they want. As of 2020, approximately 95% of this content is deepfake pornography, in which the people (mostly women) who have been face-swapped did not originate or consent to its production. But some people like Schick think that, by 2030, a high percentage of all online content could be synthetic.”
But rather than rambling on about the underlying technology, this post is just meant to put a spotlight on the issue and to put my…