Deepfakes pose a particular threat, but they are not as dangerous as you think


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One of our shoutiest moral panics these days is the fear that artificial intelligence-enabled deepfakes will degrade democracy. Half of the world’s population are voting in 70 countries this year. Some 1,500 experts polled by the World Economic Forum in late 2023 reckoned that misinformation and disinformation were the most severe global risk over the next two years. Even extreme weather risks and interstate armed conflict were seen as less threatening. But, type it gently, their concerns appear overblown. Not for the first time, the Davos consensus might be wrong. Deception has been a feature of human nature since the...