As deep-learning artificial intelligence (AI) technologies advance, the "Uncanny Valley"--the unease people feel toward realistic computer-generated humans--is beginning to abate.
Indeed, innovations are moving so quickly that scientists are concerned about computerized imagery becoming so lifelike as to be indistinguishable from reality.
Some researchers see an upside to this trend, with Cornell University's Kavita Bala noting, "What I like about these technologies is they are democratizing design and style."
On the other hand, the University of Chicago's Yuanshun Yao sees darker implications to machine learning's progress, including purposeful and malevolent deception and disinformation. "Maybe in five or 10 years, we will be surrounded by AI-generated [news]," Yao warns.
Also worried is Dartmouth College professor Hany Farid, who envisions the viral spread of fake content, in combination with the slow vetting process, supporting scenarios such as the intentional creation and proliferation of counterfeit videos designed to induce mass panic.
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