The Government Accountability Office announced Sept. 10 that it launched an initiative aimed at informing policymakers about future issues and technology.

In its first-ever meeting, GAO’s “Center for Strategic Foresight” hosted experts to explore the “management of space policy by government and the private sector," as well as deepfakes — videos using artificial intelligence to portray someone saying something they are not.

“At GAO, we’re committed to thinking strategically about the future in order to meet Congress’ evolving information needs,” said Gene Dodaro, comptroller general of the United States and the head of GAO. “The Center for Strategic Foresight helps to keep us agile by encouraging creative and critical thinking on the latest trends facing government and society. Our goal is to stay focused on Congress’ top policy priorities and to help prepare policymakers for future challenges.”

The center has nine non-resident fellows who are experts in different studies: foresight, planning and futures. They have experience in both the public and private sector.

“We are confronting deep global uncertainties across myriad sectors, and there has never been a more urgent need for strategic guidance at the highest levels of government,” said Amy Webb, a fellow and professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. As a strictly nonpartisan organization, like GAO, the Center is uniquely positioned to act as a central hub for research, data-driven models and strategic assessment.”

Deepfake videos are concerning problem in emerging technology across both the private and public sector. Earlier this year, a doctored video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi highlighted the potential threats of deepfakes, particularly after President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani tweeted the video, which was later deleted. The president tweeted out a different distorted video of Pelosi shortly after.

Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.

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