Why Alphabet Will Benefit From Stunning Rise of Malevolent AIs
Musicians often sell their song rights for use in advertising. Now technology is good enough for actors to sell their voices and likenesses, and policy makers are worried.
Representatives for Bruce Willis denied last week that the actor sold his likeness to a deepfake company, the first deal of its kind in Hollywood. It’s the beginning of a new era for investors.
Investors should consider buying Alphabet (GOOGL). Let me explain.
Deepfakes are typically manipulated videos in which the likeness of a famous person is digitally inserted to deceive the viewer. Deepfakes are now almost indistinguishable from real due to the acceleration of generative adversarial networks. GANs use artificial intelligence to continually improve, and the results are shockingly effective.
A YouTube video posted in 2020 from Disney Research Studios showed photorealistic imagery being created on-the-fly for targeted actors.
Companies such as Deepcakes are pushing GANs even further. Its digital twin technology is being pitched to A-list Hollywood actors as an opportunity to monetize their likeness without physically going to makeup, learning lines, or being on set. A publicist for Deepcakes told The Hollywood Reporter Willis worked with the firm in 2021 on a Russian commercial for a local wireless phone operator.
Willis has since retired from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that prevents him from understanding or expressing speech.
Deepfake opponents worry illusory speech.
The persistent use of illusion blurs the line between what is real and not real. A so-called liar’s dividend occurs, where the public can be easily manipulated to distrust what is the truth. This is especially worrisome with video. People tend to believe the images they see, versus the words they read in print, or hear.
The world needs technology right now to combat nefarious deepfakes. This software would be a trusted source to quickly flag what is fake. Unfortunately, investors worry that the lousy economy will make development impossible.
Necessity is the mother of invention.
Analyst at Morgan Stanley found worsening macroeconomics often accelerate tech breakthroughs. In Moonshots, a 91-page investment research report about disruptive technology, analysts revealed that companies are forced to be more disciplined during downturns. They solve for customer pinch points, both present and evolving.
American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) were both founded as the world entered the Great Depression. During the financial crisis of 2008-2009 venture capitalists pumped money into AirBnB (ABNB) and Uber (UBER).
Morgan researchers believe the best pure play in deepfakes is DeepMedia, a non-public company. The Oakland, Calif.-based firm produces and detects deepfakes with its DubSync technology.
DeepMind is the AI division of Alphabet, and it is considered to be one of the most important companies in that field.
Data scientists at the London, England-based subsidiary in 2020 successfully used AI to predict how proteins fold, a problem that eluded biologist for 50 years, according to Nature. The function of proteins is determined by their three-dimensional structure. In theory, DeepMind’s solution is a cheat sheet for drug makers, material scientists, and climate researchers. And the firm published the structures of 200 million proteins in July to an online database, essentially all of the predictive structures for plants, bacteria, animal and many other organisms.
Previously DeepMind AI improved traffic predictions for Google Maps, made Android recommendations better, and even cut cooling costs by 40% at Google’s data centers. The company is more than capable of defeating deepfakes. Many of these are posted at its sister company YouTube, the world’s largest distributor of independent video content.
DeepMind is a moonshot-like business, and it is hiding inside Alphabet.
Alphabet shares have been under tremendous pressure this year. Big tech companies are perceived by global policymakers as anticompetitive. That’s true, successful corporations are supposed to leverage competitive advantages.
Deepfakes is a big problem that requires insight from some of the brightest minds in tech. Over the longer-term, stock prices are reflection of necessity being monetized.
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This article can also be found on Forbes.com.