Posted in:

How Are Deepfakes Altering Our Memory

In the age of the internet, we encounter a plethora of images and videos on social media platforms every day, and it’s become increasingly difficult to differentiate the real and fake ones. The experts say that everything that you see on the internet is not trustworthy. You may have encountered Vladimir Putin on bended knee kissing Xi Jinping’s hand or the pope in a puffer jacket. These things never happened. All these are deepfakes.

Deepfakes are artificial media created using machine learning algorithms, particularly deep learning neural networks, to manipulate and alter audio and video recordings to show a person saying or doing something they did not actually say or do. The term “deepfake” comes from a combination of “deep learning” and “fake.” According to ExpressVPN’s research, there were less than 15,000 deepfakes detected online in 2019, and the number of them today is in the millions.

How does deepfakes technology work?

Deepfake technology uses deep learning neural networks, which are computer algorithms designed to learn from large data sets, to create a digital model of a person’s face and voice. 

Deepfakes are usually created using software that is freely available online. This makes them easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection. They are most commonly used for creating fake news, hoaxes, and propaganda, as well as for revenge pornography and other forms of cyberbullying.

This technology can potentially change how we remember events and could have serious implications for our understanding of the truth.

What is Mandela Effect?

The Mandela Effect is a phenomenon where many people remember something differently than how it occurred. In other words, The Mandela Effect refers to a situation in which a large mass of people believes that an event occurred when it did not.

This term is named after Nelson Mandela, a politician and anti-apartheid rebel from South Africa. Many people still believe that he passed away in prison in the 1980s. In reality, he was freed from jail in 1990, became the nation’s leader, and died in 2013.

This effect has been attributed to a variety of causes, including false memories, parallel universes, and even time travel. Here are three examples of the Mandela Effect.

  1. Berenstain Bears vs. Berenstein Bears: One of the most well-known examples of this phenomenon is the popular children’s book series, the Berenstain Bears. Many people remember the series being spelled as “Berenstein” with an “e” instead of “Berenstain” with an “a.” Despite the fact that books have always been spelled with an “a,” many people continue to swear that they remember it being spelled with an “e.”
  2. The Sinbad Genie Movie: Many people remember a movie called “Shazaam” starring comedian Sinbad as a genie. However, this movie never actually existed. Despite there being no evidence of the movie ever being made, many people continue to swear that they remember seeing it.
  3. The Statue of Liberty’s Location: The location of the Statue of Liberty is another example of the Mandela Effect. Many people remember the statue being on Ellis Island, but in reality, it is located on Liberty Island. This false memory is believed to be the result of confusion because many immigrants passed through Ellis Island on their way to see the statue.

What causes the Mandela Effect?

Some theories suggest that this could be because memories are not always accurate and can be influenced by external factors such as suggestion, imagination, and social influence. Other theories propose that it could be the result of quantum mechanics and the existence of parallel universes, where different versions of events may exist.

How are deepfakes altering our memory?

Deepfakes are altering our memory by creating false or distorted versions of reality. They can create convincing fake videos and audio that control what we perceive as real, leading to the creation of false memories or the contortion of real ones.

One way that deepfakes alter our memory is by spreading false information. If a deepfake video or audio goes viral, it can influence people’s beliefs and perspectives about a person, event, or issue. For example, a deepfake video of a politician could be used to spread false information or propaganda to influence the outcome of an election.

Deepfakes can also alter our memories by making us question the authenticity of real videos or audio recordings. When we see a video or hear an audio clip that seems too good to be true, we may start to question whether it’s real or not. This can lead to confusion and doubt about what we remember as being real.

Another way that deepfakes alter our memory is by creating false memories. When we see a deepfake video, our brain may create a memory of that event that did not happen. This can be especially concerning in situations where deepfakes are used to create false memories for blackmail, revenge, or other malicious purposes.

Deepfakes can alter our memory by creating a sense of distrust in what we see and hear. If we cannot trust the authenticity of videos and audio recordings, we may become more skeptical and less likely to believe what we see and hear. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and trust and have negative consequences for society as a whole.

Deepfakes have the power to make people believe they have seen something that never happened due to the highly sensitive nature of technology. This could ultimately cause them to misremember an untrue scenario as fact.

Here are a few examples of the dangers that come with deepfakes:

  1. Political Swaying: Deepfakes can be used to create fake videos or audio recordings of politicians, which can be used to spread false information or influence public opinion. This can have serious consequences, particularly in the context of elections and political campaigns.
  2. Fraud: Deepfakes can be used for fabrication, as scammers can create fake videos or audio recordings of a person and use them to obtain sensitive information. For example, a deepfake of a family member could be used to convince other members to transfer money to a fraudulent account.
  3. Revenge Porn: Deepfakes can be used to create fake pornographic videos or images of a person without their consent, which can be used for revenge or blackmail. This can have serious emotional and psychological consequences for the victim.
  4. Fake News: Deepfakes can be used to create fake news, deceptions, and propaganda, which can be used to spread false information and influence public opinion.
  5. Historical Misbelief: Deepfakes can be used to alter historical events and create false narratives. For example, a deepfake of a historical figure could be used to alter the perception of an event or to promote a certain political agenda. This can have serious consequences for how we understand and understand history.
  6. Fabricating scientific evidence: Deepfakes can be used to create fake scientific evidence to support an untrue claim or hypothesis.

Ways to Detect a Deepfake

Deepfakes are a growing concern for several reasons. Firstly, they can be used to spread false information and influence public opinion, which can have serious consequences. Secondly, they can be used to defame or debunk individuals, which can be damaging to their reputation. Finally, they can be used to create fake pornographic videos, which can be used to exploit and blackmail individuals. So, it becomes important to detect these deepfakes.

Here are a few ways to spot a deepfake to safeguard yourself from the spread of misinformation and false memories:

  1. Look for inconsistencies: Deepfakes may contain inconsistencies that are not present in authentic videos or audio recordings. For example, the lighting, shadows, or facial expressions may appear unnatural or out of place.
  2. Check the audio: Deepfakes may have audio that does not match the lip movements or speech patterns of the person in the video. You can try to match the audio to other recordings of the person’s voice to see if they are consistent.
  3. Analyze the metadata: Deepfakes may have metadata that reveals inconsistencies or unusual information. For example, the date or location may not match the actual time and place of the recording.
  4. Use deepfake detection software: Several deepfake detection tools are available that use machine learning algorithms to analyze videos and audio recordings for signs of manipulation. These tools can identify visual and audio anomalies that may indicate a deepfake.
  5. Seek out multiple sources: If you are unsure about the authenticity of a video or audio recording, try to find multiple sources that verify the content. Look for corroborating evidence, such as witness statements or videos from the same event. If the video or audio recording is the only source of information, be more cautious about accepting it as authentic.