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April 28, 2024 | The Day We Stopped Trusting Media

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What to Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004, sold it in 2022, and now publishes John Rubino’s Substack newsletter.

One of the first posts in this newsletter’s Shrinking Trust Horizon series was about how “deep fake” technology will make fake images, videos, and audio recordings almost indistinguishable from the real thing. This will kill millions of modeling and acting jobs, while weaponizing audio and video in all kinds of disturbing ways.

That day has apparently arrived:

Baltimore high school teacher arrested over deepfake audio of principal

A Maryland high school teacher has been arrested for allegedly using AI to deepfake a bogus recording of his principal making racist comments.

Dazhon Darien, 31, is accused of creating the hoax audio of Pikesville High School Principal Eric Eiswert.

Mr Eiswert was placed on leave and had police outside his home amid death threats he received over the fake clip.

Mr Darien was held at an airport after a security check over a gun in his bag found an arrest warrant against him.

He faces charges of stalking, theft, disruption of school operations and retaliation against a witness.

Baltimore County Schools Superintendent Myriam Rogers said the school, as well as the Baltimore County Police Department, launched an investigation on 17 January when they were made aware of the voice recording.

Detectives requested a forensic analysis of the audio, which found it was not authentic.

In the recording, Mr Eiswert’s deepfaked voice is heard making disparaging comments about black students’ test scores, black teachers and Jews.

Police believe Mr Darien, the Baltimore-area school’s athletic director, made the recording to retaliate against Mr Eiswert because he was pursuing an investigation into potential mishandling of district funds.

Mr Darien had authorised a payment of nearly $2,000 (£1,600) to his roommate, falsely claiming the roommate was an assistant coach for the Pikesville girls’ soccer team, reports the Baltimore Sun newspaper.

According to investigators, Mr Darien used school district internet to search for artificial intelligence tools, including Microsoft’s Bing Chat and OpenAI.

In mid-January, he sent an email with the subject line “Pikesville Principal – Disturbing Recording” to himself and two other employees at the high school, said police.

Once the recording went viral online, the school received furious calls from parents and students.

Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh just posted a video that includes the fake footage:

And here’s Brighteon’s Mike Adams on Microsoft’s new deep fake tech:


So Much For “Seeing Is Believing”

If a high school phys-ed teacher can create a deep fake good enough to plunge a school district into several months of chaos, imagine what major-party political operatives will be able to do. Starting now, we should expect incendiary videos to drop the day before every major election when there’s no time left to respond.

Media personalities will be targets of never-ending torrents of ugly and apparently real media, with the volume rising along with a celebrity’s fame. Paparazzi — who have to actually take incriminating photos — will be replaced by, well, anyone with a computer, some free time, and a mean sense of humor.

The result? Very quickly, people will stop paying attention to video and audio that they haven’t actually witnessed being created.

Am I wrong to view this as a really good thing?

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April 28th, 2024

Posted In: John Rubino Substack

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