The following is an excerpt of my latest article in The Hill.
Joe Biden isn’t a hologram.
But the relative absence from the public stage of a newly elected U.S. president and leader of the free world is sparking no small amount of speculation and chatter about the brave new world of possibilities offered by technological advancements and the unprecedented control over information on the Internet.
So far, under Biden, there have been none of the extended press availabilities that we got accustomed to under President Trump. No impromptu sessions with the media where he fields questions and attacks, dealing with dozens of wide-ranging topics. President Biden even skipped the traditional live, in-person February address to Congress. We’ve only seen him primarily in the form of various “proof of life”-like video clips distributed on the internet, where he reads scripted remarks from a teleprompter.
Even some officials who work in the Biden administration tell me they can’t help but wonder why. And it has them mulling over farfetched speculation that, upon further examination, starts to look almost like it is not completely outside the realm of the possible.
In June 2019, I published a story on "deep fake” technology. It explored how Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) computer technology has put special effects, once reserved as expensive and time-consuming accomplishments of Hollywood films, in the hands of most anybody with a computer and the desire to use it.
As I showed in the report, this A.I. technology can make people who didn’t say or do something look very much like they said or did the thing. I urge everyone to watch the story here and keep in mind two things: First, the technology has advanced further by leaps and bounds since my original report. And, second, our intelligence agencies have capabilities far beyond whatever it is we see in public.
Some years ago, a government source with access to intelligence at the highest levels explained to me — without divulging any classified information — that any technological thing we can imagine is actually being researched or accomplished in the secret channels of our government. And, he told me, things that are beyond our ability to imagine also are being done.
Some of the things we know are already possible: Scientists can build lifelike robots or droids that are getting harder and harder to distinguish from humans. They can even interact and take part in rational-sounding two-way conversations. Hologram-like figures can make campaign appearances (as India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi did, as early as 2012) or even be resurrected from the grave (as pop star Michael Jackson was) for “live” performances.
What would be necessary if powerful interests wanted to construct a believable artificial reality surrounding the most powerful political position on the planet? (Continued...)
Read the rest of the story in The Hill at the link below: