With the help of my mentor, Professor Nick Smith, during the summer of 2019, I researched how new developments in artificial intelligence are enabling the mass manufacture and distribution of fake news. Looking specifically at deepfakes, a form of fake news that uses picture-perfect face swapping, I examined how new computer software makes it trivial for anyone in the world to manufacture disinformation, false information spread deliberately to deceive the masses. I believe that, if we are not careful, we could enter a post-truth future, where the truth about issues becomes overshadowed by emotionally charged headlines and discourse. With few ways to determine which images and videos have been synthesized, the most sensationalist news will attract the most attention. In my research paper, I outlined the problems we are facing, dove into the algorithms that make them possible, and offered recommendations for how our society can overcome the challenges ahead. I am extending my Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship through my senior thesis in philosophy, where I am digging deeper into the epistemological issues of trusting the media in our modern world.
Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire
Wheeler, Dylan, "Living in a World Where Seeing Is No Longer Believing: Artificial Intelligence as a Disinformation Engine" (2020). Inquiry Journal. 12.