CHINA - Deep Faking, the Newest AI Weapon

Arno Froese

Worries about deep fakes—machine-manipulated videos of celebrities and world leaders purportedly saying or doing things that they really didn’t—are quaint compared to a new threat: doctored images of the Earth itself.

China is the acknowledged leader in using an emerging technique called generative adversarial networks to trick computers into seeing objects in landscapes or in satellite images that aren’t there, says Todd Myers, automation lead and Chief Information Officer in the Office of the Director of Technology at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

“The Chinese are well ahead of us. This is not classified info,” Myers said at the second annual Genius Machines summit, hosted by Defense One and Nextgov. “The Chinese have already designed; they’re already doing it right now, using GANs—which are generative adversarial networks—to manipulate scenes and pixels to create things for nefarious reasons.”

For example, Myers said, an adversary might fool your computer-assisted imagery analysts into reporting that a bridge crosses an important river at a given point.  

“So from a tactical perspective or mission planning, you train your forces to go a certain route, toward a bridge, but it’s not there. Then there’s a big surprise waiting for you,” he said.

First described in 2014, GANs represent a big evolution in the way neural networks learn to see and recognize objects and even detect truth from fiction.

A lot of scholars have found GANs useful for spotting objects and sorting valid images from fake ones. In 2017, Chinese scholars used GANs to identify roads, bridges, and other features in satellite photos.

The concern, as AI technologists told Quartz last year, is that the same technique that can discern real bridges from fake ones can also help create fake bridges that AI can’t tell from the real thing.

Myers worries that as the world comes to rely more and more on open-source images to understand the physical terrain, just a handful of expertly manipulated data sets entered into the open-source image supply line could create havoc. “Forget about the [Department of Defense] and the [intelligence community]. Imagine Google Maps being infiltrated with that, purposefully? And imagine five years from now when the Tesla [self-driving] semis are out there routing stuff?” he said.

-www.nextgov.com, 1 April 2019

Arno's commentary

Artificial intelligence projects are virtually racing ahead of one another. Traditional defense and war no longer seem possible. Artificial intelligence may be the key to the future.

Where will it lead? From Scripture, we know that the world will be more and more united. Prosperity, peace, and security will increase. Revelation 18:11 specifically identifies the merchants: “And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more.” Then, the next two verses list 28 classes of merchandise, without mentioning weapons of war. This indicates that merchandise is king. But in the end, verse 19 testifies: “And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! 

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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