The World Economic Forum (WEF) is unsurprisingly a part of the “deepfakes panic” that has been spread and promoted for some years now by a number of politicians and media outlets around the world.
The notion of deepfake tech is used here as a stand-in for (future) AI in general – and least as far as WEF’s “fears” go, behind them is an attempt to make sure that governments and regulators around the world get working to prevent “harm” from AI.
According to WEF, cyber-criminals are using deepfakes so much these days that the problem has become “worrying” – while when it comes to the news industry, this is “a growing global concern.”
The truth is that when speaking about technology, we have seen a huge increase in “everything” over the past years: of profits, the number of users of social platforms, the censorship, the surveillance. However, the WEF chooses to look at deepfakes in isolation, mentioning a rapid increase in the amount of this content, and forecasts that say this trend will continue.
And while deepfakes have been around for a long time in order to help businesses – particularly the entertainment industry, now, WEF, an informal group representing global elites speaks about them as “a threat to businesses” – and if trust in digital technology needed any more eroding, WEF seems certain it will happen thanks to deepfakes.
Then there’s inevitably the conjecture that they could easily pose a threat to society at an alarming level – compromising everything from elections to national security.
WEF’s solution? Let’s have WEF lead the way in defining the foundations of regulating AI in an “ethical” way. To this end – and also making sure the development of AI is “inclusive, transparent, and used safely and responsibly” – the Switzerland-based group has come up with a “toolkit for human resources.”
“By developing AI standards for children, the Forum is creating actionable guidelines to educate, empower and protect children and youth,” a post on WEF’s site says.
Next, they also want to be at the center of how companies and the healthcare sector handle AI use and development.
“In partnership with the UK government, the Forum created a set of procurement recommendations designed to unlock public-sector adoption of responsible AI,” the blog post continues.
So far, more than 100 companies, governments, civil society and academic organizations have joined WEF’s Global AI Action Alliance. “Joy to the world” – critics might scoff sarcastically.
But WEF promises to “accelerate the adoption of responsible AI in the global public interest.”