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Towards a New Science of Disinformation

by   Claudio S. Pinhanez, et al.

How can we best address the dangerous impact that deep learning-generated fake audios, photographs, and videos (a.k.a. deepfakes) may have in personal and societal life? We foresee that the availability of cheap deepfake technology will create a second wave of disinformation where people will receive specific, personalized disinformation through different channels, making the current approaches to fight disinformation obsolete. We argue that fake media has to be seen as an upcoming cybersecurity problem, and we have to shift from combating its spread to a prevention and cure framework where users have available ways to verify, challenge, and argue against the veracity of each piece of media they are exposed to. To create the technologies behind this framework, we propose that a new Science of Disinformation is needed, one which creates a theoretical framework both for the processes of communication and consumption of false content. Key scientific and technological challenges facing this research agenda are listed and discussed in the light of state-of-art technologies for fake media generation and detection, argument finding and construction, and how to effectively engage users in the prevention and cure processes.


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