The deepfake revolution may bring a media revival

By Leonid Bershidsky

29 Mar 2023 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

While some people believe they can immediately tell if an image is AI generated, Bloomberg argues we shouldn't give such claims much credence, due to the revolutionary times we are living in.

Russian pop music producer Iosif Prigozhin (not to be confused with Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner mercenary army) publicly supports Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Earlier this month, however, a recording, ostensibly of Prigozhin's expletive-laced telephone conversation with sanctioned billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, was leaked on YouTube - and on it, both parties curse "Satan" Putin, his greedy, incompetent team and his dumb war.

The content of the conversation is mildly interesting and the insults and complaints are good for a laugh, but ultimately, the recording offers nothing particularly revealing. A year into the invasion, it's hardly new knowledge that Putin dragged Russia into the war against the will of its hedonistic business elite, that this elite resents the inconvenience of sanctions and that it nevertheless won't stand up to Putin publicly because that's a sure path to ruin. What's notable about the leak is Prigozhin's defense: He claims the conversation, or at least parts of it, was generated using artificial intelligence - and today, it's impossible to prove otherwise.

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