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Obama proposes 'digital fingerprints' to combat 'misinformation' — and cites 'vaccination stuff' as justification
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Obama proposes 'digital fingerprints' to combat 'misinformation' — and cites 'vaccination stuff' as justification

Former President Barack Obama proposed last week that "digital fingerprints" should be used to combat "misinformation."

Speaking with David Axelrod about the rise of artificial intelligence technology, Obama predicted that "misinformation" will plague the 2024 presidential campaign and stressed a need to police digital authenticity.

"Because I was the first digital president, when I left office, I was probably the most recorded, filmed, photographed human in history, which is kind of a weird thing. But just the odds are that I was," Obama said. "As a consequence, there's a lot of raw material there. So usually all the deepfakes start with like some version of Obama doing something, dancing, saying dirty limericks, or whatever. Right?

"That technology's here now. So most immediately we're going to have all the problems we had with misinformation before — this next election cycle will be worse," Obama predicted.

The proliferation of AI technology, Obama went on to say, creates critical needs.

"The need for us, for the general public, I think, to be more discriminating consumers of news and information, the need for us to, over time, develop technologies to create watermarks or digital fingerprints so we know what is true and what is not true," Obama said.

Obama said the ability for Americans to discern between what is true and what is not true is critical because the digital ecosystem has created echo chambers and feedback loops that reaffirm what people already believe. He cited the "vaccination stuff" as evidence that authenticity must be policed.

The problem is: Who is defining what is true and not true? The government? That's a hard sell considering what happened during the COVID pandemic.

Obama has been on a crusade against so-called "misinformation" and "disinformation" — terms used very broadly and almost never defined — in the run-up to the 2024 election season.

Last year, Obama said the government should step in to regulate "clearly dangerous content." And last month on World Press Freedom Day, Obama declared that "widespread disinformation" is a clear and present threat to democracy.

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Chris Enloe

Chris Enloe

Staff Writer

Chris Enloe is a staff writer for Blaze News
@chrisenloe →