In January a man named Aviv Ovadya scared the shit out of me. I’d arranged to chat with him about the future of disinformation expecting a sober of the coming years as incrementally worse. But Ovadya painted a far bleaker picture — a future in which an array of easy-to-use and seamless technology would democratize the ability to manipulate perception and falsify reality. What happens, he mused, “when anyone can make it appear as if anything has happened, regardless of whether or not it did?”
Ovadya told me about “reality apathy,” “human puppets,” and “the Infocalypse.” It was terrifying — more so because early versions of some of the dystopian technology we discussed is already here; some of it is even available to the public.
Which is how I ended up creating an AI-rendered digital recreation of my voice that was so convincing it fooled the person who arguably knows my voice better than anyone: my mom.