torsdag 16. mai 2024

AI and deepfakes blur reality in India elections

In November last year, Muralikrishnan Chinnadurai was watching a livestream of a Tamil-language event in the UK when he noticed something odd. A woman introduced as Duwaraka, daughter of ​​Velupillai Prabhakaran, the Tamil Tiger militant chief, was giving a speech. The problem was that Duwaraka had died more than a decade earlier, in an airstrike in 2009 during the closing days of the Sri Lankan civil war. The then-23-year-old's body was never found.

And now, here she was - seemingly a middle-aged woman - exhorting Tamilians across the world to take forward the political struggle for their freedom. Mr Chinnadurai, a fact-checker in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, watched the video closely, noticed glitches in the video and soon pinned it down to being a figure generated by artificial intelligence (AI). The potential problems were immediately clear to Mr Chinnadurai: "This is an emotive issue in the state [Tamil Nadu] and with elections around the corner, the misinformation could quickly spread."