Hyper-realistic synthetic media, or what most of us would refer to as deepfakes, are the library of technologies capable of accurately replicating our image, voice, biometric information and behaviour. These technologies have the potential to significantly augment communication, media, enterprise, service and education. They give us the capacity to construct whole new people within digital environments or reanimate those who have gone before. But they also have a darkside, one capable of undermining the fundamental systems of society from electoral to economic.
New technologies have always presented some level of threat, either real or imaginary. Deepfakes are likely to be the cyber threat of the decade. This report clarifies the history of the technology, the contemporary context and its impact, as well as illustrates the various risk factors through design fiction foresight.