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Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali in his denial, says it is a nefarious plot to assassinate his reputation and character to destroy his political career. - NSTP/File pic

THE video showing two men frolicking in bed is distressful and disgusting.

So are the persons behind the recording.

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has already vehemently denied that he is one of the men in this ‘drama’.

How this sordid affair will end, only God knows. Let the investigators do their job, let the guilty face fire and brimstone.

But this revolting episode has also pushed a piece of technology into the conversation.

It is called deepfake.

Doubtless, many would have heard about it in recent times.

It may or may not have any role in this video. But make no mistake, this scion of hell is another great existential threat to truth.

In fact, I would consider it the nuclear bomb of fake news.

It works like this: in a video, Barack Obama says, "We are entering an era in which our enemies can make it look as if anyone is saying anything in any point in time".

The man in the video looks and sounds exactly like Obama, but the truth is, it isn't him who mouthed those words. AI was employed to create this deception. It seems the technology is widely and easily available.

There are many explainers on the Internet. Malaysians would do well to educate themselves.

Fake news in other forms has already caused so much damage. Lives have been ruined and lost.

But this deepfake nuclear bomb may obliterate truth in a way that will make the conventional fake news appear like a mere grenade.

Think of it. A deepfake video of you shouting profanities at someone, or kicking a cat, or smooching with a lady who is not your wife, is put on the Internet. That's merely the mildest damage this thing can do.

What if a video shows a person committing murder, stealing, etc? What if an audio recording of a religious leader saying that those of other faiths must die emerges?

Are these fantastical worries? Or will deepfake be the dagger that finally kills truth altogether?

Yes, truth will no longer be the norm. Nothing will be believable any more. We will become so suspicious of everything, we will see through things forever.

But, like the thinker C.S. Lewis said: "To 'see through' all things is the same as not to see." We might as well be blind. Or dead.

That, like the video, is distressing.

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