Taylor Swift, the pope, Putin: in the age of AI and deepfakes, who do you trust? | Alexander Hurst

Rumours and gossip changed the course of French history. Now they’re weapons for ‘newsfluencers’ and dictators in the 21st-century information wars
If you wanted to find out what was happening in the world in Paris in 1750, you went to l’arbre de Cracovie, or “the Kraków tree”. This chestnut tree was called that not because it had any particular connection to the Polish city, but because the slang term at the time for “fake news” was craques, and the space beneath its branches was full of it.
And yet the tree didn’t just draw gossips who would claim to know what was really going on in the corridors of power because they had eavesdropped on a conversation or glimpsed a private letter. It also drew the attention of the government, which wanted to know what Parisians were thinking, as well as foreign powers, who sent agents there to gather information – or to plant it.
Alexander Hurst is a Guardian Europe columnist
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{Categories} *ALL*,_Category: Implications{/Categories}
{Author}Alexander Hurst{/Author}
{Keywords}Artificial intelligence (AI),Russia,Media,Deepfake,Technology,World news,France,Europe,Social media{/Keywords}
{Source}The Guardian – Artificial intelligence{/Source}

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