Can you believe what you see and hear these days? Literally – can you believe it… when we know how good generative AI is at producing fake photos, audio and even video.

This goes well beyond Deep Fakes (something we looked at in Episode 4) which is about mimicking someone. This is about creating entirely fake, but incredibly realistic photos, audio and video.

Whether it’s Donald Trump behind roughly detained by New York police, or a Greek firefighter rescuing a young boy from the Turkish earthquake, we literally can’t believe our eyes and ears anymore.

Join us next week as we talk about the implications, and what you can and should do in your company.


Can you believe what you just saw on the TV, on your phone, what you just heard? I mean, literally, can you believe it?

Welcome to Throw Forward Thursday, my name is Graeme Codrington and as I record this on the 22nd of March 2023, Donald Trump is facing a possible arrest warrant in New York. He made an announcement last Saturday that he would be arrested on Tuesday, and everybody’s waiting in anticipation to see if that will happen. And if you look on Twitter, if you look over social media, you’ll see pictures of this happening. You’ll see that it has already happened, except it hasn’t. All of these pictures are fake and that’s what I want to talk to you about today in the Throw Forward Thursday session on the future of fakes.

Whether that is fake pictures, fake audio, fake video, deep fakes, which is when we pretend to be somebody else, or just fake photos, audio, and video. This is now a reality brought on mainly by Generative AI. And so ChatGPT, which is all the big buzz at this stage at the beginning of 2023, also comes along with some artistic renderings like DALL-E and Midjourney. And these apps can help us to produce photorealistic images.

In next week’s session, when we have a look at the application of fake media, I’ll show you my attempts to produce some of this fake media and show you it’s not quite as easy to do as you might think and the people who have put effort into making these fake videos and photos, they’ve got some skills, but over the next few months and years, it’ll become easier and easier and cheaper and cheaper to get more and more realistic fake news, fake images, fake information.

We’ve talked about this before, here’s a link. I’ll put a link into the notes attached to this video as well, where literally in Episode Four of Throw Forward Thursday, I showed you some very bad deep fakes of myself where my image was used in a video that I had to follow up and ask them to take down, they thought it was just a stock image. This was about two years ago now, and we suggested that this was coming faster than you can imagine, and we were right because here we have now news being generated that hasn’t happened yet.

I also saw a photograph, for instance, from the Turkish earthquake a number of weeks ago. Here’s the photograph, this appeared in many newspapers around the world. Beautiful photograph, evocative of the tragedy of young children being taken out of Greek firefighters who had rushed across to Turkey to help, except it’s generated by AI. The telltale giveaway is the fact that the guy’s got six fingers and do we really expect a Turkish child to have a Turkish flagged t-shirt on and everything to just be pitch-perfect?

It raises some interesting ethical questions of course, the fact that this photograph actually isn’t reality doesn’t change the emotion and reality of the fact that Greek firefighters were pulling Turkish children out of the ruins of their homes. So, should we just say that it was a fake photograph but representing real events? And we’ll talk about that again next week as we apply and think about some of the ethics and the morality and how we deal with a world in which you can no longer trust your eyes and ears.

There’s the thought that I want to leave with you today, that we are going to have to find a way in the very near future, this is not throwing forward too far, this is a reality we’re dealing with today. But what we now have to do is realise that we live in a world where things can be faked in very realistic ways, and we’ve got to find a way to make sure that we can trust the information that we’ve got and to be careful of trusting what we think is real when it’s really possible that it isn’t.

As always, thank you for joining me in the Throw Forward Thursday studio. Come back next week when we apply this to your industry, have a look at some of the use cases for these image and video and audio generators and give you some advice on how you deal with this as a threat as well as an opportunity in your industry.

I’ll see you next week.


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Graeme Codrington, is an internationally recognized futurist, specializing in the future of work. He helps organizations understand the forces that will shape our lives in the next ten years, and how we can respond in order to confidently stay ahead of change. Chat to us about booking Graeme to help you Re-Imagine and upgrade your thinking to identify the emerging opportunities in your industry.

For the past two decades, Graeme has worked with some of the world’s most recognized brands, travelling to over 80 countries in total, and speaking to around 100,000 people every year. He is the author of 5 best-selling books, and on faculty at 5 top global business schools.


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