Photo: Eduardo MunozAlvarez/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images.

Lawmakers are worried about the political misuse of deepfakes — misleading images, audio, and video created by machine-learning software — and their potential impact on the midterm elections, Wired's Tom Simonite writes in "Will deepfakes disrupt the midterm election?"

Why it matters: The midterms have been deemed vulnerable to various kinds of online attack. Social media giants have been working overtime to combat fake posts related to the election, and pro-trust projects have popped up at an alarming pace.

The backdrop: Up until about a year ago, deepfakes were nothing more than an obscure term on Reddit. Now, deepfakes have made incredible advances that have made swapping faces in video more accessible to the public.

The details: A deepfake could undermine an election campaign, Wired reports. “If the target of the deepfake loses, the legitimacy of the entire election will be in question,” Yale law researcher Rebecca Crootof said.

  • Pentagon research-funding agency DARPA started a program in May to detect deepfakes, testing ideas such as watching for unnatural blinking in videos.
  • “The biggest tangible threat of deepfakes so far is the allegation that any future hot mike or covert recording of Donald Trump or any other candidate would be a deepfake,” Cameron Hickey, who researches online disinformation at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, told Wired.

So far, there's no public proof of deepfake clips being used for political disinformation. Many have used video and audio of former President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump to prove a point.

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"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. Photo: Vatican Pool - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

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Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The delegation lands at Israel's Ben Gurion airport. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

Voters stand in line at the Metropolitan Multi-Services Center in Houston, Texas, on Oct. 13. Photo: Mark Felix for The Washington Post via Getty Images

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at nearly five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.