THE trending video of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Ibrahim Idris struggling to read from a prepared speech, during the commissioning of the Police Technical Intelligence Unit in Kano State, recently, has heightened the negative side of technology.
The IGP was said to have missed a line in his speech and apologised for it. But videos of the event which have gone viral on the internet portrayed the Police boss as incapable of reading his own prepared speech.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s Senior Special Adviser on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said the video was doctored and rebuked those allegedly responsible. Although she admitted that the IGP made the mistake only once, she insisted that the
“transaction transaction, transmission transmission” that re-echoed in the video clip that has gone viral, was a simulation.
Dabiri-Erewa tweeted: “This video is definitely doctored. The error was made once, then special effects used to repeat it. What I don’t understand is why anyone would believe(it). Well, it’s a social media world”. Meanwhile, this has also divided opinions among friends on social media, including facebook, twitter, whatsapp among other platforms, as hot argument centres on whether the IGP should, in the first place, have made such mistakes in his own speech. Also in a dramatic fashion, the viral video has been re-made in different genres, including music and comedy skits, showing great innovation that eventually does not portray the Nigerian society in good light. Dilemma of video technology Observers are of the opinion that the development aptly captures the dilemma in adopting technology without moderating it to suit our economic and socio-cultural interests. While it is easy to assume that every leap forward in technology is a leap forward in benefit, it is however, not always the case.
Technological innovation, particularly of the fast-paced kind we see today, is full of possible benefits but also fraught with risks. Video tech is seen as generating huge revenue base at the moment but some attendant negative innovations like video simulation and photoshopping also have grave implications to individuals like the Police boss currently and the society at large. Video simulation is the imitation of the operation of a real-world video, while photoshopping is a computer programme activity that allows one to make changes to a digital image. Sometime in 2010, popular musician, Ojosipe Oluwatobi Wande Jnr, known as Wande Coal was in the news for the wrong reasons.
A picture appeared on twitter showing the bumper to bumper crooner lying naked on bed. However, the multiple award winning artiste, denied being the one in the controversial nude picture, saying that whoever was responsible for spreading the lies must have used photoshop to superimpose his head on another man’s naked body. Such obnoxious and unfounded allegations have also trailed Anambra State born politician, Mrs Uche Ekwunife, when in middle of 2011, a video clip purported to be of her, emerged on YouTube showing another woman performing a sex act on her. Obama on fake news created through AI Former American President, Barack Obama, also had reason to express strong misgivings about the wrong use of technology or more appropriately artificial intelligence, AI, to create misleading simulation for fake news. During a television interview programme, he had submitted thus: “We’re entering into an era in which our enemies can make it look anyone is saying anything at any point in time. Even if they will never say those things. “So, for instance, they could have me say things like:’I don’t know Killmonger was right’, or: ‘Ben Carson is in the Sunken place’. Or how about this, simply: ‘President Trump is a total and complete dipsh-t’. “Now, you see, I would never say those things. At least not in a public address. But someone else would. “This is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need to become more vigilant with what we trust from the internet. It’s time when we need to rely on trusted news sources. May sound basic, but how we move forward, age of information is gonna be the difference between whether we survive or whether we become some kind of fucked up dystopia”.
Incidentally, Obama was the subject of a faked or synthetic footage created by University of Washington researchers using AI video tools. According to a BBC News report, in a process that lasted 14 hours, the researchers used neural network AI to model the shape of the former president’s mouth and then mapped their model to footage and audio. With this done, they were able to match any audio to a synthetic Obama or “put the words of an impersonator into his mouth”.
The Global Risks Report 2017 by the World Economic Forum highlights that to forestall these kinds of national disgrace, new technologies have to be developed alongside a system of good governance. But the dilemma is that governance is a complex issue. Too much regulation could stifle the very innovation and benefit technology is trying to create, but inadequate regulation may never also give people enough trust to use new technologies.