Deepfakes are highly realistic videos or images created using artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms. Deepfakes can be used to create fake news or propaganda, to defame or blackmail individuals, or to spread false information.
Deepfakes were first used to create fake celebrity pornographic videos in 2017 when a Reddit user started to post clips that he had compiled with his own home computer. The Reddit user collected thousands of photos of famous people from the internet and used them to train a computer program to replace the faces of real porn actors with computer-generated faces of celebrities.
Since then, the technology has advanced rapidly, and it is now possible to create convincing deepfakes of anyone using just a few images or videos.
One famous deepfake is a video of Richard Nixon announcing that the Apollo astronauts had died. The video shows a realistic-looking Richard Nixon delivering a speech in which he announces that the Apollo astronauts have tragically died on their mission to the moon. The speech is accompanied by somber music and images of the Apollo spacecraft in orbit and on the lunar surface. The purpose of the deepfake was to demonstrate how easy it is to create convincing fake news or propaganda using deepfake technology. It was also intended to highlight the potential dangers of deepfakes in the context of politics and elections, where they could be used to sway public opinion or discredit political opponents. The deepfake of President Nixon was created by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as part of a project to raise awareness about the dangers of deepfakes.
The deepfake was created by training an AI model on hours of archival footage of Richard Nixon speaking, as well as audio recordings of his voice. The model was then able to generate new footage of Nixon speaking that was highly realistic and virtually indistinguishable from the real thing.
Besides the dangers of deepfakes being used to sway public opinion and discredit political opponents, deepfakes can be used to blackmail people and spread false “information.” When people see videos of experts speaking, they tend to give them more credibility than written or second hand information.
There are several tips and tricks that I recommend for spotting deepfakes. These include looking for strange visual artifacts, such as mismatched facial features or unnatural movements. You can also listen for inconsistencies in the audio. Finally, you can check the source URL of the video in your browser. Did it come website you recognize? Did it come from an official or corporate website or YouTube channel? Finally, you can Google the subject matter to look for collaborating articles – or articles refuting what the video says or shows.
Deepfake detection technology is rapidly improving, and there are now several tools available that can help identify deepfakes with a high degree of accuracy. Here are a few:
- Sensity AI: Sensity AI is a deepfake detection tool that uses artificial intelligence to analyze videos and images for signs of manipulation. It can identify facial inconsistencies, unnatural eye movements, and other visual artifacts that are indicative of deepfakes.
- Deeptrace: Deeptrace is a deepfake detection platform that uses machine learning algorithms to analyze videos and images for signs of manipulation. It can detect deepfakes in real-time and provides a confidence score to help users evaluate the authenticity of a video.
- Microsoft Video Authenticator: Microsoft Video Authenticator is a deepfake detection tool that uses AI to analyze videos and images for signs of manipulation. It can identify deepfakes with a high degree of accuracy and provides a confidence score to help users evaluate the authenticity of a video.
- Amber Authenticate: Amber Authenticate is a deepfake detection tool that uses blockchain technology to verify the authenticity of videos and images. It works by creating a unique digital signature for each video or image, which can be used to verify its authenticity.
- Truepic: Truepic is a platform that uses blockchain technology to verify the authenticity of photos and videos. It can detect signs of manipulation and provide a tamper-evident seal to verify that a video or image has not been altered.
It is important to stay vigilant and skeptical of surprising videos in the face of deepfakes. Due your due diligence. Ask questions. And do not hesitate to use these tools if you suspect something. Please comment about your experience with deepfakes or any of these tools.