In its first investigative report, After Aliyah has learned of concerning rumors that an emerging Jewish e-book author who claims to be based in Ramat Beit Shemesh (RBS) is in fact a completely fictitious online identity whose “face” is in fact the product of an AI algorithm.
Even more concerningly, the author — Yaakov ‘Yanky’ Greenspan — appears to have managed to convince After Aliyah editorial staff that he is real, leading to the publication of a blog on this website. An internal investigation has been launched into how this came about if it is indeed proved to be true.
‘Greenspan’ recently published a paperback and e-book entitled Just Get On That Plane which some reviewers have called a “viscous excoriation” on the concept of the Jewish Diaspora. The book is currently available for sale on Amazon, Book Depository, and several other international marketplaces. It urges all Jews to immediately come to Israel. Bookstores in Denmark and New Zealand have picked up the book for sale. The source said that he wasn’t quite sure how. Or why. But that the author’s team were “rolling with the LOLs” while internet weirdness unfolded around the project.
A well-placed whistleblower, who claimed to have insider knowledge of ‘Greenspan’ and his true identity, says that a website called This Person Does Not Exist was used to generate an artificial face that was actually constructed by an AI algorithm.
“The face doesn’t belong to a real individual and never has,” he said. “The whole cover is bogus, although I heard the author really does want to try help encourage aliyah,” the whistleblower said.
If the whistleblower’s claims are in fact true, then Greenspan’s identity is likely to add credence to the claims that fake profiles are a growing menace in the battle between real news and fake news.
Concerns have been rife for some time that AI-assisted “deep fakes” will soon be appearing in which faces are superimposed into videos and dynamic media.
“Think about it,” our source said. “If anybody can download an AI-generated face in a few clicks … setting up one of these profiles has become almost childishly simple,” the whistleblower said. “Don’t believe everything you see online!”
Nevertheless, the whistleblower hastened to add that Amazon’s publishing platform, KDP, allowed authors to publish under pseudonyms, although he clarified that he was not alleging that Greenspan was, in fact, not a real person. That fact, he claimed, is not widely understood outside of writing and publishing communities.
Oh, and Shmuli Rubinstein — I mean me — is totally legit too.
This is an emerging story.
Article ID: 512
Shmuli Rubstein is a columnist with After Aliyah. He lives in a shikun building in Gilo in Jerusalem and often visits his local makolet for bread and milk.