At its digital retreat on November 17th and 18th 2019 at Meseberg castle, the Cabinet addressed key aspects of digitization. On the agenda were mobile communications and digital currency, and the question of how dangerous professionally faked videos are for our democracy.
At the start of the two-day German Federal Government retreat, the spotlight was not only on expanding the mobile communications network, but also on new online services for citizens and businesses.
New developments in the fields of artificial intelligence and digital currency were top of the agenda on Monday, when a regular Cabinet meeting was also taking place. During the meeting the government presented its own initiatives, engaged in discussions with experts and met with digital pioneers. Artificial intelligence offers many opportunities, but also poses many challenges, especially for our democratic order. The experts agreed that in future elections could be massively influenced by "deepfakes" in which artificial intelligence is used to falsify images and videos, such that they are indistinguishable from the original.
Guests at the digital retreat were Prof. Matthias Nießner, Dr. Justus Thies and Andreas Rössler from the TUM’s Visual Computing Lab. Prof. Nießner presented to the German Federal Government about AI, SyntheticMedia, and MediaForensics. He put specific focus on the "FaceForensics" works, as well as on a general discussion about the general AI landscape in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel showed great interest in the Visual Computing Lab’s activities. Particular praise was given to the TUM’s research and teaching in the field of "Deepfakes" by Dorothee Bär, State Minister for Digitization: "In the fields of Deep Learning and Deepfakes we are one of the top performers worldwide."