Deep faker are getting harder to identify and easier to make.

People will use this to do real damaging mischief. Politicians, especially, will use the mere existence of this as a convenient excuse to deny their mistakes. Think: “I never said that, that was a deep fake.” (I am surprised no public figure has used this excuse yet.)

But there is a potential huge upside, beyond the obvious new opportunities for entertainment. The existence of deep fakes may actually bring forth a new age of greater authenticity and discernment.

Audiences will become more conscious of a public figure’s character - what they believe, what they say, and how they act. PR-speak and outright marketing lies currently used shamelessly to create fake contextually-advantageous character traits may yet lose their power.

The audience will be more aware of any speech/action that is incongruent with a public figure’s character, so as to better identify potential fakes. When we can no longer trust snapshots of words and actions, we may start to evaluate these snapshots against the bigger picture of who we know the public speaker to be.

The deeper scrutiny should make it harder for public figures to execute self-serving 180-degree pivots; at least not without a lot of rationalisations and explanations. Deep fakes could force public figures to be more authentic and congruent, in order to maintain their ongoing credibility, and protect themselves from deep fake character assasination attempts.

Public figures with disordered, sociopathic, or psychopathic personalities could present as deep fakes, and be indistinguishable from deep fakes of them. This may alert the public sooner to their problematic traits.

Of course, the PR gurus will work out new ways to build fake facades, as they have done so forever. Except now, these will have to be much deeper facades, perhaps deep enough to become actual buildings. A deep congruent character is always preferable to thin malleable veneers.

I can hope.