/GOP congressman warns country “not prepared” to deal with fake videos after edited Pelosi clip goes viral

GOP congressman warns country “not prepared” to deal with fake videos after edited Pelosi clip goes viral

Republican Representative Will Hurd warned on Sunday that the country is “not prepared” to deal with fake videos circulating online after a viral edited clip of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi went viral last week.

“This wasn’t even a deep fake. You know we’ve been hearing a lot about deep fakes which is the use of artificial intelligence in order to create something new,” Hurd, who represents Texas and is also a former CIA officer said on CBS News’ Face the Nation.

“I think within months, we’re going to be able to see this deep fake technology continue to grow. And we’re going to see that more, and that we’re not prepared,” he asserted.



Viral clips of Pelosi, altered so that she appears to be speaking in a garbled and stammering manner — making her appear drunk — were widely circulated online as a war of words erupted between her and President Donald Trump last week. Trump himself tweeted out a tightly edited clip of the top congressional Democrats, which appeared to show Pelosi struggling to respond to reporters’ questions.

Adding fuel to the viral clips, the president repeatedly attacked Pelosi. “I have been watching her for a long period of time, she’s not the same person,” the president said in one remark. “She’s lost it.”

“You think Nancy is the same as she was? She’s not. Maybe we can all say that,” he also said last week when asked about the video by reporters.

Hurd pointed out that such fake clips will become an increasing problem moving forward, warning that the U.S. does not have laws to adequately address such misinformation.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) joins a talk on education on May 24 in Media, Pennsylvania Mark Makela/Getty Images

“We have old laws to decide how you handle disinformation. You have leaders that don’t understand how this technology can be used in the future,” the Republican politician explained during his Sunday interview.

Previous media reports have revealed the potential for highly deceptive fake videos to be created fairly easily to spread misinformation. Using technology, as Hurd explained, videos can be created using the face of a public person or politician combined with audio of their own voice. Although a careful observer may notice subtle inaccuracies in the image or audio that reveal it to be a fake, many unsuspecting observers may simply assume it’s an authentic clip.

“This goes back into this whole conversation around disinformation and how are we dealing with it. And it’s not just the government alone. It’s not just the social media companies. It’s also the media, academia involved in trying to do this,” Hurd said.

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