True Crime Thursday – Artificial Intelligence

Photo credit: Laurenz Kleinheider, Unsplash


Debbie Burke


Check out the photos of people on this website. Facial expressions change. Body movements and gestures look natural. Yet these “people” aren’t real. They were created by artificial intelligence (AI).

Previous iterations of computer-generated models had telltale signs that gave away their artificial nature.

However, a Japanese company called DataGrid, Inc., founded by three brilliant twenty-somethings, appears to have perfected the technique of creating realistic humans generated by artificial intelligence. This recent article in Forbes describes DataGrid’s process. Here’s the link.

How do they achieve this? They pit two AI systems against each other in a competition called “generative adversarial networks” or GAN. One creates an image from databases, the other critiques it, tweaking the tiniest details until the creation is indistinguishable from reality.

DataGrid plans to license this technology to the fashion industry to showcase clothing lines with created models of the desired size and shape.

But a writer’s imagination explodes with possibilities.

What real-life crimes could be spawned by AI technology? Here are a few ideas:

An innocent person is framed because their created double appears on video committing a crime.

What happens to eyewitness testimony? Whom did the witness see? An actual human or a model?

A head of state is kidnapped/killed and a double takes over, changing the course of history.


The late, great comedian Redd Foxx used to say, “Who you gonna believe? Me or your lying eyes?”

Who are we gonna believe? How will we know if our eyes are lying or not?


TKZers: Let your imaginations run wild. Share crimes you envision from the nefarious use of AI.

What do you think will be some of the unintended consequences?


Debbie Burke’s new thriller, Stalking Midas, contains no characters created by AI, only ones dreamed up by her imagination. Available in Kindle or paperback.

This entry was posted in #truecrimethursday, Artificial Intelligence, Writing by Debbie Burke. Bookmark the permalink.

About Debbie Burke

Debbie writes the Tawny Lindholm series, Montana thrillers infused with psychological suspense. Her books have won the Kindle Scout contest, the Zebulon Award, and were finalists for the Eric Hoffer Book Award and Her articles received journalism awards in international publications. She is a founding member of Authors of the Flathead and helps to plan the annual Flathead River Writers Conference in Kalispell, Montana. Her greatest joy is mentoring young writers.

20 thoughts on “True Crime Thursday – Artificial Intelligence

  1. There’s always the AI Big Brother:
    • a computer generated “leader”
    • streamed through the cable and TV,
    • with AI crowds
    • in AI settings
    • for the the real world to see on digital media.

    If partnered with animatronics or holograms (think Michael Jackson in concert again), and big screens in convention halls and domes, them real folks can claim having seen her/him.

    BUT then AI does what it does best(?), and outthinks its “evil world domination creators,” turning the tables on them and making things…worse? Or better? Or completely virtual?

    Of course, there’s always the possibility of resurrecting Michael Jackson – or Elvis, or John Lennon – and raking in bogus, but real, royalties from AI celebrities…

    Speaking for M-M-Max Headroom: Open the pod bay doors, HAL…(am I showing my age – again?)

  2. Of course there’s also the possibility, as explored in the Matrix, that our world is already a mirage. In my view this has not only scientific, but spiritual connotations. On some level, we are all just particles, twinkling in the void. On an even deeper level, there is no “we,” and there is no void.
    I’ll leave it at that, lest people think I’m high on anything other than the waning days of summer and the early morning’s first cup of coffee.

  3. I think impersonation could be done digitally, but it’s still a far leap to go from a computer model to a live body double. It would, however, give someone the ability to spread misinformation fairly easily. And in this world where someone will believe what you say, no matter how ridiculous, that might be all it takes to cause a catastrophic event.

    • Right, Mike. Spreading misinformation is a powerful tool that has changed history many times. Now it’s easier to do and harder to detect.

  4. Wow! Where have we got to and where are we going?

    How about a romance/thriller in which the man finally gets the girl to say “yes”…but she’s not human? She’s an AI created image whose task is to kill the man who raped the sister of the AI’s handler.

    Unintended consequences? In true Orwellian style, it has to be that humans become a minority as the fake ones figure out how to replicate themselves.

    I think I’ll take a walk now. Hope that’s not a holographic image outside my office window…

  5. Debbie, you may (or may not) hate this. But as I wrote my idea here, I discovered I solved the storyline problem of one of my current WIPs.

    So sorry.

  6. You’ve already got the deep fakes out there. I can’t imagine anything scarier. People can literally make a video of me saying anything they want…. or doing anything they want.

    There’s one particular video doing the rounds right now. A number of world leaders (current ones) are singing John Lennon’s Imagine. They look like they are singing Imagine; the mouths match the lyrics and the rhythm of the song.

    The crimes that can be committed? Where do I begin? Blackmail. Literal fake news. Theft. Fraud. Literally anything that can be caught on camera is subject to AIC (AI Crime).

    AI is both absolutely amazing and terrifying.

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