A video of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announcing he’s dropping out of the 2024 presidential race is going viral on social media — but it’s definitely a deeply fake, AI-generated video Is.
It was reportedly created on YouTube by satirist C3PMeme, and later posted on X and other platforms.
2024—The Deep Fake Election
This is perhaps not the first time that such videos have surfaced on social media, and ahead of next year’s general elections, it certainly won’t be the last. Still, it’s a troubling reminder that some Americans can be fooled by such creations, and all campaigns need to be extra vigilant to ensure such misinformation is addressed directly.
Dr. Jim Purtillo, associate professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, warned, “Up to this point we’ve mostly seen creations of geeks showing off their technical prowess to each other. It was all in good fun.”
Portillo explained, “This blatant copying of the alleged DeSantis announcement takes it to a whole different level.” “This shows not only technical expertise in the creation of synthetic video, but also great political craft. Whoever made it knew that the message that Governor DeSantis was out of the GOP primary race was dismissed almost immediately.” But still, it creates a real buzz, a distraction from the issues.”
perfect storm of misinformation
Technology will get better and this will make the problem worse. It will not be limited to concessional speeches only. AI can be used to paint a candidate in a bad light – and in the process make real clips of seemingly bad behavior hard to believe.
We can almost certainly expect that any candidate caught in a compromising position will dismiss the evidence as “fake” – so much so that the truth may be meaningless!
“We will see more fake video and audio ahead of next year’s election,” said Charles King, technology industry analyst at Pund-IT. “The tools and systems needed to get the stuff done are readily available. Equally important, the current political climate in America is so fractured and ugly that people on both sides are by and large willing to believe the worst about the other. Ready.”
The convergence of AI-generated videos and social media will allow such misinformation/disinformation to be created and spread rapidly to the public. Meanwhile, there may not be uniform tools to combat this – while there may be little desire on the part of the platforms.
“The biggest danger is that many of the internet platforms that have been used to spread disinformation in the past do not seem to have the interest, ability or will to stop it today,” King suggested. “Perhaps that will change in the coming months. If not, what already looks like a highly divisive campaign could be worse than most people imagine.”
Will Campaigns Embrace Deeper Fraud?
We’ve already seen the widespread adoption of social media by politicians, and earlier this year the DeSantis campaign even released an AI-manipulated video that featured former President Donald Trump hugging Anthony Fauci.
The campaign suggested the photos were clearly fake, and compared them to memes circulated by Trump, the new York Times Reported in June.
DeSantis suffered the most this week.
Although the newly posted video falls into the so-called “Uncanny Valley” where it just doesn’t seem quite right, this type of misinformation could still threaten to derail a campaign as it gathers momentum. Deep fakes go far beyond the usual campaign gimmicks.
Portillo continued, “Political consultants would call it ‘building buzz’ and the thread took on a life of its own.” “People have endless opportunities to debate whether the script was the creation of former President Trump — it was clearly made to appear so — or some dirty trick by another group intent on causing disorder.” . Some psy-ops team clearly earned their pay on this one.”
Unfortunately, we’ll likely get to see a lot more of this!