A series of deep-fake digital creations that appeared to feature Indian actors recently went viral, showing how greatly this threat has grown. In one, viewers would think they’re watching actor Rashmika Mandanna, but it’s only her face on someone else’s body in an undignified clip that’s offensive not just to her, but to all. Then there was an image meant to be of Katrina Kaif, another objectionable fake. Kajol has been a victim too of artificial imagery that could fool anyone. These are not clumsy mock-ups. They are part of the online wonderland being ushered in by advances in artificial intelligence (AI). Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been targeted as well, as he revealed some days ago while noting its dangers; a fake video depicted him performing the garba, a folk dance. That it was brought up by him at this week’s virtual G20 summit is a sign of how seriously the risks are being taken at top-most levels. What was once an almost academic worry among the few who were up-to-date with technology now needs to become a buzz of the masses. With general elections not too far away, it is crucial that this happens fast.
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