Software that lies (so you don't have to!)

A new class of software tells fibs on your behalf. Are these apps unethical?

By , Computerworld |  On-demand Software

FatBooth for iOS enables you to a modify a photo of someone to make him look fatter.

A site called iFakeSiri will let you type in the dialogue of a fake conversation between you and Apple's voice assistant, Siri. The site will produce a convincing screen-capture spoofing the conversation.

Most of these, of course, are for pranks and fun. But another site is very serious about helping you flat-out lie.

A service called the Alibi Network will actually tell just about any lie you want to tell, and it will do it by email, fax or phone. The service's professional liars are standing by to call your spouse or boss. When they call, they'll leave a number for callback, and the caller will get a voicemail message. They'll even print certificates of achievement, showing that you attended a seminar or passed some test.

Is all this computer-aided lying unethical? I think the answer, obviously, depends on how people use them. Any of these could be used for good or ill.

The important thing is that we all know these products and services exist, so we're not fooled by such software and services and can focus our skepticism properly when people provide "evidence" for things that are just plain lies.

Mike Elgan writes about technology and tech culture. You can contact Mike and learn more about him at Elgan.com, where you can subscribe to his free email newsletter, Mike's List. You can also see more articles by Mike Elgan on Computerworld.com.

Read more about social media in Computerworld's Social Media Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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