AI As Precursor Of A Fake World To Come

by admin


With the advent of what is presently known as Artificial Intelligence (AI) mankind has finally arrived at a world where it is no longer safe to believe anything. In other words, a higher level of faking has been attained such that to believe what you see in a still photograph or a motion picture and swear or bet on it, is to do so at your peril.

At this juncture, we are no longer talking about fake news only but also fake history, fake events, fake conversations, fake voices, fake faces, fake husbands and wives; indeed, anything under the sun is susceptible to faking.

This is in addition to the genetically modified crops, the synthetic eggs, rice and other agricultural items that come out from factories rather than as offspring of their kinds.

The age-old axiom that photographs do not lie have been shattered by emerging technologies that mischievous people now use to put up falsehoods against business and political opponents for their selfish ends.

Artificial Intelligence is said to be the intelligence of machines or software, as opposed to the intelligence of human beings or animals.

At its simplest form, they describe it as a field which combines computer science and robust datasets to enable problem-solving, encompassing sub-fields of machine learning and deep learning.
However colourful the language that describes it could be, the word “artificial” makes the entire concept abhorrent. By artificial, we mean false, fake, mock, non-natural, synthetic, simulated.

Absolutely, one ought to be wary of the kind of intelligence that is qualified with this array of adjectives. Rather than keep this kind of technology in abeyance, the world chooses to relish it.
Nigeria had never been more threatened by this new fad of falsehood than in the last election when various political leanings sought to outdo each other with fake news about opponents, simulated with AI.

In the web, during the campaigns for the 2023 elections, was a voice recording purported to have been obtained from conversations in a meeting of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, with his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa, and another PDP stalwart and immediate past governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal. The voices were unmistakably real to the ear that has not heard of something called AI. And the voices were discussing strategies to rig the election.

The characters involved denied ever having such conversations. There is the obvious scepticism that met the denial because no one would expect them to admit it even if it was real. Yet, with the existence of AI, we know that voices could be cloned to say what the owner never ever dreamt of saying. It was the handiwork of those who intend to do damage to the reputation of the politicians.

None of the major presidential candidates escaped being a victim of this kind of falsehood as the campaigns raged. The Labour Party (LP) candidate, Peter Obi, was jolted when a purported telephone conversation between him and Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Worldwide, in which Obi was alleged to have solicited the help of the bishop to get for him the support of his congregation, using religion as a bases. Both Obi and Oyedepo denied the story.

Only someone who has knowledge of the existence of this mischievous technology would believe their denials. Any other person would think the politicians are at it again, doing what they know how best to do – lie!

President Bola Tinubu had an overdose of this AI menace, the latest being a trending video that showed him apologising to Peter Obi for rigging the 2023 election.

A man receives a call. His daughter screams as if in captivity for ransom to kidnappers. And the man, for the love of daughter, sets out looking the millions the “captives” have demanded, only for him to receive another call that his daughter was safe elsewhere. The kidnappers, using AI, had cloned the daughter’s voice.

A prominent nutritionist is seen on television, image and voice unmistakable, testifying to the products of a company as an advertising stunt. The nutritionist gets calls from an acquaintance for more information. Alas, it was deep fake! No one had interviewed the nutritionist.

Perhaps, AI has been seen as an asset to the socio-economic world as its proponents have testified to its efficacy in solving complex problems in various aspects of life. There is the claim that Artificial Intelligence solutions in the healthcare sector is becoming increasingly popular these days.

Remote patient monitoring technology, for instance, allows healthcare providers to perform clinical diagnoses and suggest treatments quickly without requiring the patient to visit the hospital in-person. AI, they say, can also be beneficial in monitoring the progression of contagious diseases and even predict their future effects and outcomes.

AI is said to analyse data much more efficiently as well as help to create predictive models and algorithms to process data and understand the potential outcomes of different trends and scenarios. Moreover, the advanced computing capabilities of AI can also speed up the processing and analysis of data for research and development, which could have taken too long for humans to review and understand.

Complex issues such as fraud detection, weather forecasting, among others have found use in AI. AI-powered Robotic Process Automation tools have helped in the automation of tiresome factory functions, thereby making work easy for companies. The robots are now performing human actions in human resources and marketing departments of banks and other big businesses. More job loss imminent, maybe. But the human touch in those fields is still irresistible. Many human beings would prefer to interface with fellow human beings rather than machines as it sounds even insulting to engage machines for serious business of persuasion or direction.

The challenge of AI to a well-intentioned mankind, from indications, is how to separate truth from falsehood. This, indeed, is a tall challenge because AI stands as an intrepid competitor with God in creativity. As the technology evolves steadily, mankind finds itself in a dilemma of what to do to prevent the extreme damage it might inflict on politics and businesses, using its ability to fake everything in the universe. Would it be wise to place a sanction on AI, or place an outright ban on its use, just as President Bill Clinton once halted experiments that tended to clone human beings without going through the normal processes of reproduction? We love the factual, natural world more than the false and artificial ecosphere facing us. And so, technology should spare us the embarrassment of deep fake.

Dr. Odu can be reached through

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