On this month's panel episode, digital anthropologist Dr Stephanie Betz (5:50) discusses “deepfakes”. It's been possible to doctor images to a very high degree of believability for a long time - Arthur Conan Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes, was fooled by fake images of two young girls playing in their garden with a community of fairies back in 1917! But deepfake technologies are now making it possible to create fake video footage so realistic that it's almost impossible to detect with the naked eye, and so easy to create that all you need is a smart phone. How will society adapt to these changes?
Anthropologists and Dragons
I surprised myself by not hesitating. Spinning around, I headed straight back toward one of those that had followed us into the alley—a woman in dark robes, eyes barely visible beneath a dark hood. I barked a threat, telling her to turn around and walk away. She snarled a retort that we should hand over the object or else. Seeing no other choice, I drew my sword and plunged it deep into her chest.