In a recent address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the growing threat of “deepfake” content, shedding light on the pervasive role of artificial intelligence in disseminating fake news and misinformation. This concern gains prominence in the wake of a disturbing incident involving a deepfake AI-generated video featuring Indian actor Rashmika Mandanna. As a woman in her 20s deeply connected to the digital world and reliant on social media for news consumption, the rise of AI-driven disruptions raises profound concerns.
The term “deepfake” first entered public discourse through a series of unfortunate incidents involving popular Bollywood actors. Although the concept is relatively new, encompassing the use of artificial intelligence to manipulate information on the internet, it is crucial to recognize that gender-based violence and harassment have long plagued women in online spaces.
Prime Minister Modi’s acknowledgment of the dangers posed by deepfake technology underscores the urgent need for vigilance in combating the spread of misinformation. The recent incident involving Rashmika Mandanna serves as a stark reminder of the potential harm inflicted by AI-generated content, especially on women who often bear the brunt of online harassment.
As a member of the internet-savvy generation, the unsettling nature of AI-led disruptions becomes particularly pronounced. The digital realm, which is meant to be a space for information sharing and connectivity, has unfortunately become a battleground for gender-based violence and harassment. Women navigating the online landscape are confronted with the persistent threat of deepfakes, amplifying the challenges they face in maintaining personal and professional integrity.
While the term “deepfake” may be relatively new, the issue it represents is deeply rooted in longstanding challenges. Addressing gender-based violence and harassment online requires a comprehensive approach that combines technological solutions, legal frameworks, and societal awareness.
In the ongoing struggle against the dark side of the digital frontier, it is imperative for individuals, policymakers, and technology experts to collaborate in creating a safer online environment. By staying informed, advocating for robust cybersecurity measures, and fostering a culture of digital responsibility, we can work towards mitigating the impact of deepfakes and promoting a more inclusive and secure online space for everyone.