Another step into unreality

One of the anchors of people’s sense of security is being able to trust their own eyes. That reassurance is fast fading as AI learns how to fake almost anything – even a conversation with what appears to be a close friend or family member.

This worries just got worse with the publication of a study that compared people’s reactions to real faces and faces generated by AI. It seems that we are more likely to accept the AI-generated face as real. We don’t know if this effect is universal (the study used white faces only), but these developments oppose huge ethical and social questions. Societies depend on trust to function. If we lose the ability to identify what or whom to trust, we undermine the relationships that enable people to collaborate.

We are approaching the point, where every digital interaction, from email to video call, may be regarded with suspicion. Technology may eventually solve the problem it has created, but meanwhile we may be in for a bumpy ride….

Miller EJ et al (2023) AI Hyperrealism: Why AI Faces Are Perceived as More Real Than Human Ones, Psychological Science

© David Clutterbuck 2023




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