What is Deepfake?
What would you feel if you saw a video of yourself doing something but you didn’t actually do it? Weird, right? That’s the concept behind deepfake technology. It uses a form of Artificial Intelligence called Deep Learning to create images, audios and videos of fake events, hence the name “deepfake”. It can seamlessly stitch anyone in the world into a video or photo they never actually participated in. In fact, in the movie Fast & Furious 7, they used deepfake technology to resurrect Paul Walker’s character. The main ingredient in deepfake technology is machine learning. Another one, in Cadbury, joined with Bollywood celebrity Shahrukh Khan on a marketing campaign for small businesses in India hit by Covid-19. The business owners uploaded details of their stores, and Cadbury used deepfake technology to create the effect of Mr. Khan promoting them in tailored TV ads. Though, the campaign was very transparent about its fakery.
Why is it a threat to everyone?
Deepfake videos are very convincing and it is very difficult to spot one. Soon, the positive use cases are likely to be overshadowed by the technology’s potential role in financial frauds, identity theft and worse – from the savaging of reputations to causing civil and political unrest. It could be used to create fake news, propaganda, seek revenge and defame notable personalities. Some celebrities have also found themselves as main actors of pornography and politicians have turned up in videos appearing to speak words that they never really said. In fact, AI firm Deeptrace have found 15,000 deepfake videos online in September 2019 and 96% of these were pornographic and 99% of those mapped faces from female celebrities on to porn stars. Beyond the porn, there’s plenty of spoof, satire and mischief.
Everyone could be a victim of deepfake videos. Not just celebrities or famous people. Our lives are at risk so it’s important that we are knowledgeable enough. If you happen to encounter a deepfake video, always search for the truth and do proper research.