[Thesis] Artificial Intelligence as a Disinformation Engine
From Dylan Wheeler
With the help of his mentor, Professor Nick Smith, during the summer of 2019, Dylan researched how new developments in artificial intelligence are enabling the mass manufacture and distribution of fake news. Looking specifically at deepfakes, a form of fake news that utilizes face-swapping, he examined how new computer software makes it trivial for anyone in the world to manufacture disinformation, false information spread deliberately to deceive the masses.
Dylan believes that, if we are not careful, we could enter a post-truth future, where the truth about issues becomes overshadowed by emotionally-charged headlines and discourse. With little ways to determine which images and videos have been synthesized, the most sensationalist news will attract the most attention. In his paper, he outlines the problems we are facing, researches the algorithms that make them possible, and offers recommendations for how our society can overcome the challenges ahead.
Dylan extended his Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship through his senior thesis in philosophy, where he digs deeper into the epistemological issues of trusting the media in our modern world.