Page Vault: What Top Lawyers Do (and don’t do) with Deepfakes in Court

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Extract from Page Vault’s article “What Top Lawyers Do (and don’t do) with Deepfakes in Court”

It’s no surprise that artificial intelligence has entered the mainstream. The need for specialized skills or software previously required to manipulate and generate lifelike multimedia content such as photos or videos has been virtually eliminated. Known as deepfakes, these materials encompass audiovisual content that mimics the appearance or voice of individuals or events with high realism. Deepfakes have been used as a tool to manipulate political outcomes (such as a fabricated call from fake Joe Biden discouraging voters in New Hampshire from participating in the primary), create non-consensual deepfake pornography (in which pop star Taylor Swift was recently a victim), and pose as business leaders with an important announcement (Mark Zuckerberg announcing a change at Meta). The emergence of deepfakes presents a significant challenge in courtrooms, where the authenticity of evidence is key.

Deepfakes are presented in court in one of two ways: a) as the subject of a crime or b) used as evidence to support a claim. The latter of these two is particularly alarming, as deepfakes have the potential to corrupt the evidence in almost any case that relies on digital or audiovisual material, posing a serious risk to the fairness of legal processes.

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