AGT welcomes our deepfake overlords

Using a distinctly non-scientific straw poll of friends and colleagues, I know that I’m in a minority by not having a smart speaker, or video doorbell. I don’t enable the convenience of Siri. My particular corner of the internet was concerned about the security implications of Amazon’s agreement to buy iRobot (makers of the Roomba) for $1.7bn. Not just for the market position, but what would Amazon do with the information. Could they potentially sell you the products, and with camera-enabled robot vacuum cleaners, know where in your house you’ve placed them?

Exchanging privacy for convenience is a well-trodden path (being listed in the phone book).

Supermarket loyalty cards for the last 20 years have seen us exchange privacy for a future discount (usually in the form of a coupon on a future purchase). A recent shift has been to charge more if not presenting a loyalty card (certainly that’s the way it comes across when both prices are shown in different size fonts).

I was a little stunned to see on America’s Got Talent the rapturous reception to Metaphysic’s “hyperreal AI-generated content”, changing a singer in real-time to look like Simon Cowell. I was surprised at a moment which one could see as “you can no longer trust anything you see, even on video” being so immediately embraced. Metaphysic have some interesting blog posts - and seemingly, if you’re concerned if a you’re on a deepfake video call, ask the caller to turn sideways!