Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Computing ethics

What To Do About Deepfakes

two mirrored face images, illustration

Credit: Getty Images

Synthetic media technologies are rapidly advancing, making it easier to generate nonveridical media that look and sound increasingly realistic. So-called "deepfakes" (owing to their reliance on deep learning) often present a person saying or doing something they have not said or done. The proliferation of deepfakesa creates a new challenge to the trustworthiness of visual experience, and has already created negative consequences such as nonconsensual pornography,11 political disinformation,19 and financial fraud.3 Deepfakes can harm viewers by deceiving or intimidating, harm subjects by causing reputational damage, and harm society by undermining societal values such as trust in institutions.7 What can be done to mitigate these harms?

It will take the efforts of many different stakeholders including platforms, journalists, and policymakers to counteract the negative effects of deepfakes. Technical experts can and should play an active role. Technical experts must marshall their expertise—their understanding of how deepfake technologies work, their insights into how the technology can be further developed and used—and direct their efforts to find solutions that allow the beneficial uses of synthetic media technologies and mitigate the negative effects. While successful interventions will likely be interdisciplinary and sociotechnical, technical experts should play a role by designing, developing, and evaluating potential technical responses and in collaborating with legal, policy, and other stakeholders in implementing social responses.


No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account