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Will a "Deepfake" video about a national U.S. political candidate running for office in 2018 get 2M+ views?

We live in wild times. Last year, the Metaculus community debated whether we'd witness "a wide-scale hoax be created using video-alteration technology to put words in a famous figure's mouth."

Unsurprisingly, we were ahead of the game.

2018 has already witnessed massive progress in the field of AI, and comedian Jordan Peele recently posted this fake (but impressively real-seeming) video of President Obama addressing the nation about the dangers of fake political views. The fake Obama signed off by warning Americans to "stay woke, b****es!"

In light of all this, Tim Hwang, director of MIT's Media Lab, posed a bet among colleagues in the field: "[will] someone... create a so-called Deepfake video about a political candidate that receives more than 2 million views before getting debunked by the end of 2018?"

The bet has attracted more than a dozen experts from both technology and social science backgrounds, with Hwang acting as the bookie. Many involved in the wager seem to fall into the “no” camp think Deepfake videos will not make a huge splash during the campaign season for the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. But more agree that the technology could become more problematic by the next U.S. presidential election in 2020.

The boffins may be skeptical, but what do you think?

Will a Deepfake video, qualifying per Hwang's criteria, throw the electorate for a loop during the midterm elections?

Resolution will be decides by the resolution of Hwang's bet, resolving positive if per the article Manhattans are consumed, negative if tropical tiki drinks are, and ambiguous if the bet is not settled by March 2019. (Just in case of delay or the obstacles in consumption of drinks, a credible media report that the bet is settled will also do.)


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