Isha Marathe, a tech reporter for American Lawyer Media, joined the podcast to discuss her recent article on how deep fake technology is coming to litigation and whether the legal system is prepared. Deep fakes are hyper-realistic images, videos or audio created using artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate fake content. They are easy and inexpensive to create but difficult to detect. Marathe believes deep fakes have the potential to severely impact the integrity of evidence and the trial process if the legal system is unprepared.
E-discovery professionals are on the front lines of detecting deep fakes used as evidence, according to Marathe. However, they currently only have limited tools and methods to authenticate digital evidence and determine if it is real or AI-generated. Marathe argues judges and lawyers also need to be heavily educated on the latest developments in deep fake technology in order to counter their use in court. Regulations, laws and advanced detection technology are still lacking but urgently needed.
Marathe predicts that in the next two to five years, deep fakes will significantly start to affect litigation and pose risks to the judicial process if key players are unprepared. States will likely pass a patchwork of laws to regulate AI-generated images. Sophisticated detection software will emerge but will not be equally available in all courts, raising issues of equity and access to justice.
The two recent cases where parties claimed evidence as deep fakes highlight the issues at stake but did not dramatically alter the trial outcomes. However, as deep fake technology continues to rapidly advance, it may soon be weaponized to generate highly compelling and persuasive fake evidence that could dupe both legal professionals and jurors. Once seen, such imagery can be hard to ignore, even if proven to be false or AI-generated.
Marathe argues that addressing and adapting to the rise of deep fakes will require a multi-pronged solution: education, technology tools, regulations and policy changes. But progress on all fronts is slow while threats escalate quickly. Deep fakes pose an alarm for legal professionals and the public, dragging the legal system as a whole into an era of “post-truth.” Trust in the integrity of evidence and trial outcomes could be at stake. Overall, it was an informative if sobering discussion on the state of the legal system’s preparedness for inevitable collisions with deep fake technology.
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