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As society increasingly wrestles with the impact of “deep fakes” it is important to acknowledge that much of the current hype is overstated. While it is true that deep fakes constitute an important future issue, today’s tools are far less developed or user-friendly than the breathless media hype and public fears might suggest. Most importantly, in many ways the rise of deep fakes mirrors the rise of Photoshop nearly 30 years ago, with a rise in falsified images met with increasing scrutiny of image-based evidence. While deep learning approaches promise higher-quality falsifications with greater ease, if Photoshop did not lead us to abandon our trust in images, do deep fakes really represent the threat we believe they do?

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