Washington Post – A new algorithm developed by Stanford University engineers is putting the spotlight on advances in video editing that could make it more difficult to separate fact from fiction online. “A team of researchers has developed new technology allowing editors to alter the words of anyone who appears on video in an image from the shoulders up, making doing so as easy as typing changes into a word processing program. In practice, this could be a talking head, a politician, a news anchor or any other person who influences political discourse. The researchers say this technology could be used to adapt instructional videos or quickly make edits to movies — but experts warn it could have more sinister effects if applied to politics. It raises serious ethical concerns because it could make it far easier for bad actors to manipulate videos from typically trusted sources.
Here’s how the new technology works: Editors can simply delete or add words to a transcript, and the application will assemble the right word or speech motions from another point in the video and use machine learning to edit the video version of the transcript in a way that appears seamless to the natural eye. Jack Clark, policy director at San Francisco artificial intelligence research center OpenAI, warned that if the technology were widely released, it could make it far cheaper to spread propaganda…”