Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse Blog Tour

In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Nina Schick warns us urgently of the impending information overload (known as the ‘Infocalypse’) and explains the dangerous political consequences of this Infocalypse, both in terms of national security and what it means for public trust in politics. Deep Fakes have been around for less than three years, to silence and for revenge and fraud. Government, business and society are completely unprepared.
Schick also unveils what it means for us as individuals, how Deep Fakes will be used to intimidate and to silence, for revenge and fraud, and how unprepared governments and tech companies are.

The malicious use of Deep Fakes is not only a real threat for democracy but they take the manipulation of voters to new levels. With the impending US election, and with vast amounts of money being spent of social media, it is expected that Deep Fakes will become a huge story later this year – – AI generated fake content is here for good, and we will have to figure how to navigate a world where seeing is no longer believing. As a political advisor to select technology firms, Schick is at the forefront of trends emerging from the worlds of data science, machine learning and AI. In Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse, Schick tells us what we need to do to prepare and protect ourselves.

“Too often we build the cool technology and ignore what bad guys can do with it before we start playing catch-up. But when it comes to Deep Fakes, we urgently need to be on the front foot.”

Mr On The Shelf is a graduate of History and Politics and i was delighted to read this fascinating book first and them pass it over to him to see what he thought and so that we could compare notes on it together during our massive roadtrip around Argyll and the stunning Cowal peninsula

brown grass under white sky

It has been interesting to read this at a time when we can feel like we are in information and news broadcast overload – the COVID regulations, the continuing rumblings about BREXIT and the forthcoming US Elections make this a timely and important read. It is a sad state of affairs that the more news we are capable of accessing, the more unsure we are about its veracity and the more confusing its messages can be. Nina Schick deftly and expertly starts to unravel the complexities of this situation and provides much food for thought in accessing this rolling news broadcast that we are living through at the moment

Voted printed papers on white surface

I had of course heard of deep fakes, but I had no idea how powerfully their influence could be once political machinations step into effect. This book is a timely warning about the war on truth in a very methodical way, taking the time to explain fully the potential impact of these ‘deep fakes’ on a world which sadly takes news at face value far to much of the time – even though we know that deep fakes can happen , we are lulled into a false sense of security by the fact that we think we would be able to notice fake news if we saw it and we would be far too astute to be taken in ourselves…

man sitting on chair holding newspaper on fire

Schick’s job, as a political advisor to these very technology firms, puts her in the best possible position to warn and advise us to adopt a more sceptical position on the ‘news’ we are presented with and think about the possibilities that AI can conjure to governments and powerful corporations that wish the population to implicitly believe things because they are lucrative and beneficial to them. AI is being used now, right under our very noses and Schick wants us to understand that it might be our own vanity and obstinacy that is preventing us from seeing this.

woman in white long sleeve shirt anime character

The truth, what is said or not said ad by whom has an enormous impact on our day to day lives. The BREXIT vote here and the public reaction to Coronavirus briefings have shown that people see what they want to see – and believe what they choose to believe – and this is magnified by the fact that the public can feel more invested in things that they’ve ‘seen’ with their own eyes. Mr On The Shelf and I had many a fascinating conversation about this as we drove the tiny twisting roads of Cowal and talked about how Trump’s tendencies of yelling ‘fake news’ at everything which he disagrees with has almost begun to devalue the concept of fake news and desensitise people to it. Once people are ‘fed up’ hearing about fake news, then corporations and political parties can capitalise on this and present us with ever more skilfully made ‘truths’ which people will definitely begin to absorb and accept more unquestioningly as time goes on…

brown concrete building with trees under black sky

I heartily recommend this book to people who love to question the status quo and who enjoy an intelligent and perceptive overview of things that they might previously been unaware of. Nina Schick is a skilful and intelligent writer who makes the complexities of the current landscape much more easy to navigate. This book unquestionably provides a great deal of food for thought for anyone with a questioning mind who is interested in exploring the headlines that we are surrounded by with a sceptical eye. It empowers its readers to look below the surface at the way that we are being manipulated and the potential for this to spiral in future if we are not more active now in our clarification of what we mean by a ‘reliable source’

You don’t have to be massively political, or well versed in tech to get a great deal out of this book, it will keep you up late reading it as it is such a fascinating blend of politics, news and prescience. Get yourself a copy here and arm yourself for the future

Deep Fakes and the Infocalypse: What You Urgently Need To Know by [Nina Schick]

“In writing this book, it is my modest aim to help you understand how dangerous and untrustworthy our information ecosystem has become, and how its harms extend far beyond politics – even into our private and intimate life. It is my hope that this understanding can help us come together to bolster our defences and start fighting back. As a society, we need to be better at building resilience to the Infocalypse. Understanding what is happening is the first step.”

– Nina Schick

Writer On The Shelf

Nina Schick is a political commentator, advisor and public speaker, specialising in how technology is reshaping politics in the 21st century. Most recently, her work has seen her focusing on the evolution of disinformation, and the fallout generated by election interference in the US (and around the world) since 2016.

Nina has advised global leaders including Joe Biden and Anders Fogh Rasmussen
(the former Secretary General of NATO), through her research on next-generation disinformation and AI-generated deep fakes. She has also worked at the heart of historic campaigns, including on the presidential campaign, the Brexit referendum and with Emmanuel Macron.

Half German and half Nepalese, she speaks seven languages and holds degrees from Cambridge University and University College London. She divides her time between London, Berlin and Kathmandu.

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