Deep-learning techniques have made it easier and easier for anyone to forge convincing misinformation. But just how easy? Two researchers at the United Nations decided to find out.
In a new paper, they used only open-source tools and data to show how quickly they could get a fake UN speech generator up and running. They used a readily available language model that had been trained on text from Wikipedia and fine-tuned it on all the speeches given by political leaders at the UN General Assembly from 1970 to 2015. Thirteen hours and $7.80 later (spent on cloud computing resources), their model was spitting out realistic speeches on a wide variety of sensitive and high-stakes topics from nuclear disarmament to refugees.