So far, research on deepfakes and media coverage of the phenomenon have been primarily focused on potential risks of the technology. These include e.g., the possible damage to the reputation of individuals and organizations that harmful altered or faked videos can cause. Through the spread of deepfakes in a political context it is possible to influence political campaigns as well as the public opinion and, therefore, to decrease the trust in established institutions and the media. For example, in the context of the Ukraine war in early 2022, a deepfake of Ukrainian President Zelensky was disseminated in which he called on Ukrainian troops to lay down their arms. To curb the spread of harmful deepfakes, technological applications that are able to identify deepfakes are needed. Further, there is a need for the continuing education of the public, recipients, and journalism on the technology.
Deepfakes have entered our everyday lives in various ways and are expected to have an increasing impact on various social and political sectors. However, the use of deepfakes also entails great potentials. For example, they can be used in the fashion industry by allowing customers to try on clothes virtually. The advertising and entertainment industry can also benefit from deepfakes, for example through the creation of more realistic stunt doubles. Deepfakes also offer a lot of potential for the health sector, for example by giving a voice to people with voice formation disorders. Especially with regard to the personalisation and creation of various media contents, they can open up opportunities for a variety of uses in the future. Furthermore, they can be used in the field of art and education, for example to create new works of art or to re-stage historical events in a creative way.
Knowledge transfer through deepfake technology
The educational video shows an exciting example of how deepfake technologies can be used creatively in the arts and education sector to deliver content and knowledge. The Dalí Museum in Florida used artificial intelligence to bring the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí back to life. The Dalí deepfake interacts with the visitors and allows them to connect with Dalís art in a new way.
Disinformation through deepfake technology
This video demonstrates how deepfake technologies can be used maliciously, e.g. to turn political opponents against each other or to influence public discourse. Created by Obama impersonator and comedian Jordan Peele in collaboration with Buzzfeed, it shows former US President Barack Obama calling Donald Trump a "dipshit".