It began with photoshop. Images were distorted to falsely portray someone or something. The average citizen with today’s advanced technology has the advantage of immediate access to the technology which would allow him to photoshop an image professionally. Today, pictures are seldom trustworthy. This is not a terrible blow to the public, however. We still have a significant amount of reliability in audio and video sources. Or so we thought.
Last year new technology was released which allows video and audio “photoshop”. This technology, known as Adobe Voco and Face2face, allows for nearly indistinguishable altering of someone’s facial expressions and speech in a video or audio recording. This technology can be used to change what someone has said on video and alter their facial expressions and movements to match, with just a few simple steps.
The obvious issues with this lie in the political field. Something a politician has claimed or not claimed can easily be changed, thus grossly misleading the public, doing a great injustice. History can be rewritten. “Facts” no longer can stand as unquestionable. George Orwell identifies this as an issue in an oppressive government in his dystopian futuristic novel, 1984. The government, in this story, or the Party, was “rewriting” history by destroying any evidence of facts that contradicted what the Party was asserting as truth. The public easily fell to this ploy. George Orwell identifies the obvious injustice of the government defining what truth is and altering facts. It goes beyond keeping the truth from the public to force feeding it lies.
The nation that Orwell presented was bleak and eroded. Its citizens lived in fear. The government was tyrannical. Truth could not be found. A nation cannot thrive when technology, which has the sole purpose to deceive, is being promoted and abused. It is our responsibility as citizens to be aware that this technology exists, of the power that this technology has and its consequences if in the wrong hands.