The World of Deepfakes
The digital world today is winning milestone by reaching out to each and every individual. Every one is now aware of various apps that can ease their lives. When the first pandemic hit, lockdown led to many people participating in digital world. Few transformed their business and others found new ways to entertain people. The locked and frustrated people only had entertainment that has keeping them sane. Entertainment has the greatest impact on the digital world. People proactively consume you see reels, memes and videos through various platforms on a daily basis. Technology today has really changed the way to stimulate reality. In fact, old-school technology like computers have also joined the race to amp up viewer’s experience.
Modern cinema, for example, is doing wonders by using technology like VFX, visual effects, CG elements that bring a whole different realistic purview. However, cinema is at a different level. Social media is the new source of entertainment and news. Every day people are scrolling and feeding their minds with the variety of information that might not even be true.
Let’s take an example. While Tik-tok is only banned in India, it is still popular in other countries and is used by both ordinary people and celebrities. While few celebrities utilize Tik-tok, many are merely present, barely signing up for their existence on the platform!!!
We all know Tom Cruise, right?
Some time back, Tom Cruise’s videos became viral on Tik-tok. Many of his videos were trending on the platform.
Millions of Tik-tok users were confused about the videos from Tom Cruise on the platform.
It was a MISSION IMPOSSIBLE to figure out it’s him. Isn’t it ridiculously similar?
Well, the reality is, it was never Tom Cruise! Somebody else made this account and posted fake videos. It was a DEEPFAKE!
We know while many of you might have seen a deepfake, you must be unaware of this event and might not even know what it is called. Don’t worry, in this article we will cover all that one must know about deepfake.
So, What is Deepfake?
Deepfake, the twenty-first century’s delta version of Photoshopping. The name refers to the process of creating fictitious events, just like we saw in above example. Deepfakes are all about fake news and videos that gets merged to create something different & new. It has convincing powers, leading people to believe that someone did or said something that never occurred. Deepfakes are often associated with misinformation, and their usage to resemble leaders or celebrities could pose a serious threat to people’s reputations and political stability. It can easily ditch anyone to believing that certain video or image is true.
Let’s look at how these deepfakes are created
We all have used apps like Snapchat and others that have filters which can either swap our face, or change the look, beautify it, etc. Truth be told, this is a deepfake, too.
Deepfakes can be created in a variety of ways, but the most frequent is to use deep neural networks with auto-encoders that use a face-swapping methodology. You’ll need a target video to utilize as the deepfake’s foundation, as well as a collection of video clips of the individual you wish to place in the target. Machine learning is the main element of deepfakes, and it has allowed them to be produced considerably faster and at a cheaper cost. To create a deepfake video, a developer would first train a neural network on many hours of genuine video footage of the person to give it a realistic “knowledge” of how he or she appears from various perspectives and lighting conditions. The trained network would then be combined with computer graphics techniques to superimpose a copy of the person onto another actor.
Pros And Cons Of Deepfake
Do you all recall how the late actor Paul Walker was revived for Fast & Furious and we all remember how it touched his fans.
Well, deepfake can do that. This technology can flawlessly merge anyone from anywhere in the world into a movie or photo in which they never took part. However, it used to take a year for entire studios of experts to generate similar effects. Deepfake technologies, which are new autonomous computer graphics or machine-learning algorithms, can now create images and movies significantly faster. While looking at the good side from the entertainment point of view, it has set new levels to cinematography.
The negative side of deepfake gets more coverage as it contains fraud, misinformation and humiliation. These all can affect someone mentally and bruise their image too. Deepfakes have a really dark side that contains all the unethical videos that might be not good for society. The difficult thing is that it is all out there in the world. You don’t know when suddenly such video can pop at your screen and you don’t even know if it’s actually true or not.
We all remember the fake Obama speech!
The fake Obama speech gained lot of attention back in the days. Now knowing that it was a fake video, there are many that can perceive it as a real speech and it can hurt their feelings too. Such deepfakes may be produced in large quantities, deceiving people who are easily duped and further dividing today’s fragmented society. The consequences of an uncontrolled and unfiltered internet and social media full of deepfakes can be harmful to our personal lives as well as society as a whole.
How To Spot A Deepfake?
Well, spotting a deepfake at a glance can be tough. However, there are few factors to keep in mind that can help you to spot a deepfake. Let’s take a run to know it all.
No BLINKING Game
Deepfakes don’t blink! Thank goodness the algorithm never really learn about blinking because that would have made the task more difficult. The vast majority of photographs depict people with their eyes open. It appeared to be a panacea for the detection problem at first. But, as soon as the study was published, deepfakes with blinking arose. As is the nature of the game, whenever a flaw is discovered, it is immediately addressed.
Catch up the POOR QUALITY
Usually deepfakes are poor quality that makes them easier to spot. No matter how good your speed is you will still find the quality of certain videos real bad. This could be one sign to mark it down that this can be something else, which is a deepfake.
Keep your eyes on DETAILING
It’s possible that the lip syncing is off, or maybe the skin tone is uneven. Flickering can be seen at the margins of transposed faces. Deepfakes have a particularly difficult time rendering small features like hair, especially where strands are visible on the fringe. Strange lighting effects, such as irregular illumination and reflections on the iris, can potentially be a giveaway, as can poorly portrayed jewellery and teeth. These all can be signs to steer clear.
Social Media’s Take On DEEPFAKES
Social media is the most accessible place that helps such deepfakes to get highlighted and then trend. A video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg went viral on Instagram, claiming to have “complete control of billions of people’s stolen data, all their secrets, their lives, and their futures”. Despite the fact that it turned out to be a work of art rather than a deliberate attempt to propagate misleading information, Facebook allowed it to stay on the platform. According to the corporation, it did not violate any of its policies.
However, Facebook announced that it will remove “manipulated misleading media” that has been “edited or synthesized” with AI or machine learning “in ways that aren’t obvious to the average person and would likely mislead someone into thinking that a subject of the video said words that they didn’t actually say”. However, the business clarified that this does not apply to “parody or satire,” as well as typical modifications that are deceptive.
Can Deepfake Come To An End?
While we are aware of a few factors that can aid in the detection of deepfakes, it is certain that technology will enhance the situation for deepfakes and worsen it for us. It will only become more realistic as technology advances; we aren’t completely powerless when it comes to resisting them. A number of companies, including numerous startups, are researching approaches for detecting deepfakes.
Not all deepfakes are malicious, as we know. The majority are entertaining, and some are even useful. Deepfakes clone people’s voices and can help individuals regain their voices after they’ve lost them due to ailments. Deepfake videos have the ability to bring galleries and museums to life. Technology can be employed in the entertainment industry to improve dubbing on different foreign-language films and, more controversially, to resurrect deceased performers.
However, as long as they are interesting, we all enjoy these types of videos. All we want to do is put an end to such deepfakes that are harmful to individuals and society. Looking for a solution?
AI could be the answer. While artificial intelligence is already helpful in the detection of fake videos, many of the current detection methods have a weakness.They perform best for celebrities because they can train on hours of freely available data. Detection technologies are developed by tech companies in order to detect fakes wherever they occur. Another technique focuses on the media’s provenance. Although digital watermarks aren’t foolproof, a Blockchain online ledger system might keep a tamper-proof record of films, images, and music, allowing the origins and alterations of these media to be investigated at any moment.
Deepfakes, as far as we can see, are here to stay for a long time and will most likely evolve as well. It doesn’t matter what they are as long as they aren’t damaging. While it has instilled trust concerns, if we are unable to spot fake videos, we may be driven to distrust everything we see and hear in the future. At the end of the day, all we can do for the time being is try to use our minds to figure out what is true and what isn’t. What to believe and what not to believe; additionally, recognize that if we come across a video with dangerous content, we must report it as soon as possible. This might be everyone’s contribution to preventing deepfakes from becoming a threat and reconnecting them to their beginnings in creativity and entertainment.