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Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse

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Member Reviews

“We are still at the very start of the synthetic-media revolution. The ways in which it can be generated are rapidly improving."

The book plays out the development of ai through machine learning leading to the alarmingly fast development of Deep fakes. The ability for everyone to access open code, the prominence of websites including Reddit and the alarming rate of deep fakes used as revenge porn - 96% at the time of writing.

Interesting case studies were few, although the attempted coup in Gabon and deep fake porn websites were very interesting. Sadly this is where facts ended and the book spiralled into an opinion piece.

The overall content was disappointing. Between very informative breakdowns of the development and current status of deep fakes, were politically suggestive opinions as facts such as “Putin is one of the most dangerous men in the world” and constant efforts to discredit Russia and China. The reality is that these resources are available to everyone and I was expecting a much more diverse selection of case studies. 

For the facts, the book is 5/5, but for the following shift in delivery, overall 2/5.

Thank you NetGalley for the Arc in return for an honest review.
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Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse - What You Urgently Need To Know
by Nina Schick

Deep Fakes are coming, and we are not ready.
Advanced AI technology is now able to create a video of people doing things they never did, in places they have never been, saying things they never said.
In the hands of rogue states, terrorists, criminals or crazed individuals, they represent a disturbing new threat to democracy and personal liberty.
Deep Fakes can be misused to shift public opinion, swing Presidential elections, or blackmail, coerce, and silence individuals. And when combined with the destabilising overload of disinformation that has been dubbed 'the Infocalypse', we are potentially facing a danger of world-changing proportions.
Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse is International Political Technology Advisor Nina Schick's stark warning about a future we all need to understand before it's too late.

Nina Schick is an excellent writer. Articulate and passionate in her work.
The book itself is well-written and well researched. The subject material is interesting and informative.
The book seems to get bogged down in current events. Not necessarily a bad thing, but give it a few years, and it will become a history book rather than a prophetic one.
There is so much that material that could have been included but is missing. Topics arise as facial recognition systems, and racial bias, pattern recognition through biometrics.  They are not covered as comprehensively as I thought they would be.
Hannah Fry, in her book 'Hello World', covers some of these topics brilliantly. And more in-depth.
I also felt that there was a lot of focus on the Russian problem. And, seemed to be because of the run-up to the 2020 U.S elections. I just felt that there was too much on President Trump (as was) and the election.
We know that it is not just Russia and China that's apt at using the Dark-Arts. It is probably the reason we only ever hear the nefarious activities of the east. Why risk the wrath of the electorate by washing your dirty laundry in public?
Some passages were a cause for concern, for me anyway.
It felt rushed, and passages were not altogether factual or proved. It was especially the case towards the latter stages of the book. 
It was interesting to read the chapters on ‘COVID-19 AND THE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS’ and ‘AUTOCRATS AND CRIMINALS’. Fascinating facts that appeared were Interpols Operation Pangea. It managed to intercept more than 34,000 fake coronavirus products. Of Which included hand-sanitisers, facemasks and unauthorised antiviral medication. I know technically it's a spoiler, but it is only a little one.
There are excellent resources and endnote sections for the reader if you need to play catch-up.
Still not sure about 'Infocalypse' as a name. Not sure how the Oxford English dictionary body will assess that. 
The book is not a long read at only 164 pages on the Kindle.
Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse is a good book, and I think it could be a book with the potential to be updated. Or even a Part two.
It is a thought-provoking and eye-opening read. It leaves plenty to the imagination and plenty for us to debate.
Thanks to NetGalley and Octopus Publishing for the digital copy.
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This book is so important with the current times, and I was really excited to give this a read. In some parts, it felt very rushed and could do with some final editing and tweaking. The book itself Is very informative and the book is easy to read. The only negative I have is that it did not analyse or go into depth, I'm aware of what is going on in the world and what is happening but I wasn't aware of why it was happening and this book did not answer these questions.
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