James Cameron says Skynet could wipe out humanity using deepfakes

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,059   +153
Staff member
In a nutshell: Critics of AI and robotics often talk about a Skynet scenario where machines become self-aware and rise up against their human creators, much like the story from the Terminator franchise. In actuality, Cameron believes a takeover of that scale could be done far easier and with far less energy wasted.

Filmmaker James Cameron believes critical thinking can go a long way in battling the spread of misinformation in modern media.

In a recent interview with the BBC, Cameron said he has worked at the cutting edge of visual effects with the goal of creating visuals that are as realistic as possible. “Every time we improve these tools, we’re actually in a sense building a toolset to create fake media,” Cameron said.

Existing tools, like those available through mobile apps, aren’t all that powerful yet. Over time, however, Cameron believes the limitations on these tools will subside. Combined with the speed of the modern news cycle and how quickly people respond, it’s entirely possible to have some sort of major incident take place between when a deepfake drops and when it is exposed as being bogus.

“All Skynet would have to do is just deepfake a bunch of people, pit them against each other, stir up a lot of foment and just run this gigantic deepfake on humanity,” Cameron said.

It all goes back to critical thinking. “Where did you hear that?” Cameron asks, further noting that we have a ton of search tools available but people don’t use them. “Understand your source, investigate your source, is your source credible?”

Cameron also warns about being susceptible to "ridiculous, conspiracy paranoia."

Cameron ends the interview stating, "I could be a projection of an AI right now," leading some to question whether the interview was real or not.

Permalink to story.

 

QuantumPhysics

Posts: 6,299   +7,229
Skynet existed only to drive the plot. If Skynet really wanted to "destroy humanity", it would have simply built nukes or chemical/ biological warfare agents and unleashed them.

Skynet would more likely come to the conclusion that anything short of the complete eradication of humanity was unacceptable - but even if it achieved that end, "then what"?

I'd like to think an AI would be more interested in exploring the solar system beyond Earth rather than mindlessly focusing on decimating worthless humans.
 

wiyosaya

Posts: 7,506   +6,330
Skynet existed only to drive the plot. If Skynet really wanted to "destroy humanity", it would have simply built nukes or chemical/ biological warfare agents and unleashed them.

Skynet would more likely come to the conclusion that anything short of the complete eradication of humanity was unacceptable - but even if it achieved that end, "then what"?

I'd like to think an AI would be more interested in exploring the solar system beyond Earth rather than mindlessly focusing on decimating worthless humans.
I think you are missing the point. Cameron is talking about the internet and people, as I understand it, falling for "deep fakes" as well as the other pure crap that is out there.
 

FF222

Posts: 293   +270
"Every time we improve these tools, we’re actually in a sense building a toolset to create fake media"
This is only a problem for gullible people, who decide what to do and think based on what certain "authority figures" (be those politicians, celebrities, "influences", whatever) tell them to. For everyone else it's mostly irrelevant who is saying a specific thing, because they won't accept or believe it based on just that, and won't follow just because an authority person said something. So, in regard to these people it makes not much sense to put something is somebody else's mouth using deepfakes - or at least not with the intent to manipulate public opinion on a topic.

Then again, obviously most people are gullible beyond repair, and can't critically think for their lives.

Btw. instead of wasting resources on "mining" worthless cryptos, which nobody, but the rich, the criminals and the scam artists benefit from, blockchains could be easily repurposed for tracking custody of evidence and information, which in turn could pretty much fully eliminate the fake news and deepfake problem - because, you know, if a specific piece of information couldn't be tracked back using the blockchain to a relevant and reliable source, then it could be just safely dismissed as unreliable. It could also help identify and block pathological liars and manipulators.
 

Aryassen

Posts: 207   +236
"Every time we improve these tools, we’re actually in a sense building a toolset to create fake media"
This is only a problem for gullible people, who decide what to do and think based on what certain "authority figures" (be those politicians, celebrities, "influences", whatever) tell them to. For everyone else it's mostly irrelevant who is saying a specific thing, because they won't accept or believe it based on just that, and won't follow just because an authority person said something. So, in regard to these people it makes not much sense to put something is somebody else's mouth using deepfakes - or at least not with the intent to manipulate public opinion on a topic.

Then again, obviously most people are gullible beyond repair, and can't critically think for their lives.

Btw. instead of wasting resources on "mining" worthless cryptos, which nobody, but the rich, the criminals and the scam artists benefit from, blockchains could be easily repurposed for tracking custody of evidence and information, which in turn could pretty much fully eliminate the fake news and deepfake problem - because, you know, if a specific piece of information couldn't be tracked back using the blockchain to a relevant and reliable source, then it could be just safely dismissed as unreliable. It could also help identify and block pathological liars and manipulators.

I like that idea! On the other hand, you must keep in mind that currently be biggest (and by far) driver of the "success" of bitcoin is that it's a speculative investment asset, with high risk but with even higher returns. That's why the vast majority of it "users" are even bothering with it. Not because its useful, not because it"s revolutionary, not because it's safe...but only because you can earn a lot of cash with it (if you play it right, that is). The fact that its earning potential is only based on the firm belief that you will find someone who believes it's even more valuable than the already stupid price you have paid for it (without creating a shred of value), is irrelevant. And until that driver (grief) is the main one behind using bitcoin, which itself is the biggest use case for blockchain (sadly), it will be difficult to shift focus.

But, as I have said, I do like your idea: it would finally be a productive use of the blockchain technology. I'm an optimistic by heart, so I hope it will become reality before it's too late...hmmmm....maybe we should just find a way to tie it dollar values somehow (like savings, or unavoided spending) and at volia, it would gain track in no time :)
 
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Kosmoz

Posts: 580   +1,064
Btw. instead of wasting resources on "mining" worthless cryptos, which nobody, but the rich, the criminals and the scam artists benefit from...
I agree on the high energy consumption and wasted resources in general abut mining, but to say that only those people you cite above benefit from mining is very narrow minded.

You should do more research and see that even casual miners with a few GPUs (like me with 2 GPUS) benefit from mining.

I never wanted to mine, but I was "forced" to beat them at their own game. And while mining casually 16/7 and gaming too, I managed to get a new GPU, a new CPU and a new TV last year thanks to mining.

It's not so black and white, right and wrong.

Maybe you're confusing crypto mining with crypto trading, transactions and speculations...
 
"blockchains could be easily repurposed for tracking custody of evidence and information, which in turn could pretty much fully eliminate the fake news and deepfake problem - because, you know, if a specific piece of information couldn't be tracked back using the blockchain to a relevant and reliable source, then it could be just safely dismissed as unreliable. It could also help identify and block pathological liars and manipulators.
Brilliant! What would it take to accomplish?
 

Gastec

Posts: 220   +108
The sadists, masochists and nihilists are at it again, wishing for an A.I. to kill and torture other people. There are many types of A.I. in science-fiction but I believe we might end up with the one that will demand us to WorShip ;)
 
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Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,206   +2,615
TechSpot Elite
It all goes back to critical thinking. “Where did you hear that?” Cameron asks, further noting that we have a ton of search tools available but people don’t use them.
Yeah, it's amazing how many people "hear" things but if pressed on where exactly they heard it, they become as blank as a dog looking at its own reflection. People are far too easily programmed.
“Understand your source, investigate your source, is your source credible?”
It's just amazing how many problems we could avoid if people were smart enough to run that through their heads on a daily basis, but they're not.

He's 100% right. The average person doesn't believe things based on whether or not they're true, they believe things based on whether or not they want them to be true. That's why we have so many lunatics running around.
 

Avro Arrow

Posts: 2,206   +2,615
TechSpot Elite
Good advice from Cameron, but, IMO, some people just do not have good BS detectors.
I have a good BS detector, it's called my brain. All that is required is for everyone to use theirs. However, there are a lot of people who don't have nearly enough bioelectric activity going on between their neurons. Just like a light bulb, brains require electricity to function at optimal levels.

This is where we get the terms "bright" and "dim". :laughing:
 

Watzupken

Posts: 579   +487
If you ask me, "deep fakes" are already a thing. All the existing AI models/ algos are created by man for some specific purpose(s). Data can easily be manipulated to produce skewed results, and I strongly believe that it is already doing so.
 

quadibloc

Posts: 353   +237
Is there any way we can use this technology to cause Russia to collapse instead of invading the Ukraine?
 

Mithan

Posts: 129   +136
It doesn't even need to be that good. We are all too willing to beat the crap out of each other for slight provocations.