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The future of studying the past

Does the deep fake threaten the study of history by forging unidentifiable documents?

Excerpt from a video of a speech delivered by Golda Meir, later Prime Minister of Israel, at a conference in Ohio in 1948. The speech was not filmed at all and was prepared using artificial intelligence
Excerpt from a video of a speech delivered by Golda Meir, later Prime Minister of Israel, at a conference of Jewish organizations in Chicago in 1948. The speech was not filmed at all and the video was prepared using artificial intelligence

"My friends, we are at war," Prime Minister Golda Meir directs her gaze at the camera, then continues, "There is not a single Jew in the Land of Israel who does not believe that in the end we will emerge victorious." The words were said by Meir in 1948 before the general assembly of the Council of Jewish Organizations in Chicago, but were never filmed. The video, which was screened yesterday (Tuesday) at the annual alumni event of the Ruderman Program for the Study of American Judaism of the University of Haifa, which dealt with the use of AI in the study of history, was created entirely by artificial intelligence technology. A welcome development that will bring teenagers closer to the history of the Jewish people, or a warning sign regarding the deep fake capabilities of artificial intelligence?

"Artificial intelligence promotes groundbreaking research methods and innovative pedagogy and can undoubtedly bring the general public, and especially teenagers, closer to important materials in the study of history. In the video, Golda Meir turns into a woman in the flesh, who looks at them and talks to them," said Dr. David Barak-Gorodetsky, head of the Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa. "We know about the great impact of video content. And in today's age, where you can use short video clips on social networks, the power of video is even increasing. On the other hand, and certainly as historians, the ability to produce apparently authentic historical content threatens the credibility of historical research, and obscures the concept of truth in relation to the past, and even in relation to the present."

The "speech" made thanks to the training of artificial intelligence software on archival photos and videos

According to Dr. Barak-Gorodetsky, even during the production of Golda Meir's short video, which was made thanks to the training of artificial intelligence software on photos and films of the Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive of the Hebrew University and the World Zionist Organization and the "Beitmona - Toldot Am Yisrael" archive In pictures", this question came up. "As a humorous part, which we wanted to screen at the event only to our alumni audience, we asked the software to make Golda Meir greet the conference attendees. And of course she did. And suddenly we noticed that we had created a 'historical record' that did not exist and was not created. We immediately realized that even though it is clear to us that everyone will understand that it is a joke, we must add a clear caption throughout the section saying that the words were never said and were created by artificial intelligence."

AI modeling and editing, Tamir Naim, Poststudio. Photos and films used to train artificial intelligence: The Jewish Film Archive of Steven Spielberg of the Hebrew University and the World Zionist Organization. Bethmona - history of the people of Israel in pictures.

Dr. Liraz Margalit, a researcher of behavior in the digital age" also explained in her words at the event about the mechanism that makes video content so influential for us, "the mechanism that receives the most weight in our decisions is the emotional mechanism. Therefore when we watch a movie, even if we know that the movie was made using artificial intelligence, our experience is processed as a real experience. This happens because our mind has not developed at the pace of technology and in terms of our brain development - the experiences are the ones that influence and not what we know. Our perceptions are not aimed at truth or reality - they are aimed at survival and in survival emotion was more significant than rationality."

So what will the future bring forth - especially in the context of studying the past? "Technology is already here and it seems impossible to ignore it. There is no doubt that there are questions here that are important to raise for public discussion and that we should think about a regulation that will properly balance the benefits and dangers of this technology. In the meantime, it is important to note that the video you saw came from a reliable and serious source - and, as always, to be critical about materials whose source is not clear," concluded Dr. Barak-Gorodtsky.

"Our students and graduates are the ambassadors for maintaining the relationship between Israel and American Jewry. We are proud of their ability to infuse new content into this relationship, which is of paramount importance to our shared identity. The Roderman Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa creates a cohesive group of influential Israelis, gateways to the values ​​and perceptions of American Jewry and the importance of the connection between the Jewish communities in Israel and the United States," said Roderman Family Foundation President Jay Roderman.

More of the topic in Hayadan:

5 תגובות

  1. It's a fake video that can still be seen very quickly

    But it's a shame that they don't tell that there are fakes already enough years ago
    that can convince anyone "as if it were the truth"
    Maybe it requires more investment from intelligence organizations and "film studios and dedicated software" but for many years there have been capabilities to fake video that will look much more real than this

    It is enough to watch movies to understand how it is possible to fake so many things that have no connection to what is actually being filmed in order to create an illusion and a fundamentally different appearance than what is actually being filmed

  2. Indeed we are facing a wave of historical forgeries. There have always been fakes and the AI ​​will undoubtedly create better quality fakes.
    But this example is very low level. Anyone who has experienced synthetic speech immediately recognizes that it is not real, even though the voice range is absolutely gold. The adaptation of the lip movements to the movement is at a low level. The commenter was also right before pointing out the age discrepancy. The Golda who appears in the video is the one who is deeply engraved in the collective memory of the Israeli public and not the one who gave the speech in question.

  3. At least they would have used a younger picture of Golda, referring to 1948.
    In the photo, Golda is around 73 years old.

  4. Golda was a traitor! concocted a plan with Dayan and Kissinger to withdraw from the held territories and not lose the elections that were supposed to take place at the end of October. She agreed that the IDF would "lose a little" (she refused to give an initial blow..) but she was caught with an unprepared army and instead of the 500 she agreed to sacrifice, 2000 died...leftists did we say??

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