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Is Canada Ready to Combat the Rising Threat of Deepfakes?

Canada Raises Concerns on Deepfakes

In a recent report, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the country's intelligence agency, has sounded the alarm regarding the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) deepfakes in disinformation campaigns across the internet.

The CSIS report underscores the growing sophistication of deepfakes and the concurrent challenge in identifying and combating them, posing a potential threat to the security of Canadians.

Screenshot taken from CSIS report:

Impact on Individuals

The CSIS report delves into instances where deepfakes have been deployed to harm individuals, revealing the consequences of this emerging technology.

The ability to recognise deepfakes becomes crucial, especially in the context of their potential use in undermining public trust and manipulating perceptions.

Exploitation of Deepfakes

Since 2022, actors have exploited the advanced capabilities of deepfake videos to target unsuspecting crypto investors.

Notably, the CSIS draws attention to instances where fabricated deepfake videos, for example, the one featuring Elon Musk promoting a cryptocurrency platform with unrealistic returns, have led investors to unwittingly part with their funds.

This underscores the need for heightened vigilance within the crypto community against the misuse of deepfakes for financial deception.

The CSIS report goes beyond deepfakes, addressing broader concerns associated with AI technologies.

Privacy violations, social manipulation, and inherent biases in AI systems are identified as significant challenges.

The potential for AI to manipulate public opinion through biased algorithms adds complexity to the evolving landscape of digital threats.

Policies and Global Collaboration

Recognising the urgency of addressing these challenges, the CSIS calls for governmental policies, directives, and initiatives to evolve at a pace that matches the increasing realism of deepfakes and synthetic media.

The report emphasises that interventions must be proactive, as the rapid evolution of AI technology could render traditional approaches ineffective.

The CSIS recommends a collaborative approach involving partner governments, allies, and industry experts to collectively combat the global distribution of legitimate information.

Canada's commitment to addressing AI-related concerns on the global stage was underscored on 30 October, as the G7 countries reached a consensus on an AI code of conduct for developers.

The agreement aims to promote "safe, secure, and trustworthy AI worldwide."

As the world grapples with the challenges posed by AI and deepfakes, the decisions and actions taken by governments and international alliances will play a role in shaping the future landscape of digital security.

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