When it comes to greater transparency, the internet both giveth and taketh away. The rise of DeepFake, the combination of “deep learning” and “fake” describing software that manipulates content into the likeness of others, shows the information age faces a serious monster beyond the control of its own creators, leaving objectified subjects trying to put the genie back in the bottle.
It was earlier this week that NotJordanPeterson.com, a new text to speech website simulating the voice the controversial teacher, was pressured into shutting down after the shock, awe and suggestive legal threats from the real Dr. Peterson. Given the surreal accuracy of its results, which involved hilarious pantomiming of feminist literature, vulgar rap videos, communist revolutionary talking points, and nonsensical meta-analysis on “the art of sucking dick” that was only a few clicks away, the doctor does raise legitimate criticisms of how DeepFakes could harm our “information ecosphere”.
“Something very strange and disturbing happened to me this week,” Peterson wrote on his website. “If it was just relevant to me, it wouldn’t be that important (except perhaps to me), and I wouldn’t be writing this column about it. But it’s something that is likely more important and more ominous than we can even imagine. Wake up. The sanctity of your voice, and your image, is at serious risk. It’s hard to imagine a more serious challenge to the sense of shared, reliable reality that keeps us linked together in relative peace. The Deep Fake artists need to be stopped, using whatever legal means are necessary, as soon as possible.”
It should be noted this message, while fundamentally necessary, happens to come from a known deception artist. Peterson, notorious for framing himself as the “intellectual dark web” hero for freedom of speech, has cultivated his own hypocritical reputation for filing false lawsuits against his own critics, repeatedly doxing students who exercised in protests, organizing an elusive fellowship program…