Technology has come a long way since its inception. Especially the way it deals with the generation and manipulation of new and existing content. From setting filters and tweaking the nature of a photograph to make it more aesthetic to playing around with a video to feature the presence of someone else who isn’t in the video by exchanging it for someone who is, it is actually quite impressive. The technology that I mentioned is called deepfake. Let us look at what deepfake is.
What is Deepfake?
Deepfake is a technology that is used to impersonate people with a high level of accuracy. Used mainly in video content, it is difficult to distinguish from real ones. The authenticity of deepfakes has gotten better over time. Researchers predict that there will be a time when it’ll be almost impossible to differentiate between deepfake videos and actual ones. Deepfakes basically is the cloning of people onto a body double in a manner that synchronizes the subject’s face with the actions and dialogue done by the double. It involves a lot of data points to cultivate to pull a proper deepfake.
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How does Deepfake Work?
Deepfakes use Artificial Intelligence to obtain the various data points found in the pictures used to get the cloned face. Since the videos need the cloned face to have perfect synchronization with the body double, a lot of images are needed. Images or videos that have the subject’s face in different lightings, angles, and emotions are used for the creation of deepfakes. Deepfakes are made using an open-source application called DeepFaceLab. DeepFaceLab uses Artificial Intelligence to cultivate the data as mentioned earlier. These data points are then compiled to create a face that can be synchronized with the body double in the next video.
Malicious Use of Deepfakes
Reports on deepfakes state that around 96% of deepfakes on the internet are nonconsensual pornographic content. This might seem like deepfakes affect the only omen, but deepfakes can enable all kinds of bullying and extortion. It can evolve into schools and workspaces where deepfakes put the alleged victim onto ridiculous, dangerous or even compromising kind of scenarios. Deepfakes have the chance of eating into a corporation by scamming through unrecognized deepfakes. They’ve also been reports of deepfake audios used for cyber extortion. Another misuse of deepfakes is the creation of fake identity cards and sources of other kinds of cybercrime. But apart from all these, the biggest way that one can use deepfake is for extortion. The problem that arises with such an ambiguous aura surrounding deepfakes is the biggest danger for deepfakes. With such videos that seem authentic to the everyday user, it is close to impossible to deny any allegation that could be created using deepfake. On the other hand, it is also a getaway for actual criminals because they can claim that the evidence was made up of deepfakes. This causes an ethically viable cyber confusion that allows criminals to walk free despite whatever they do.
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Contributors: Adithya Amarnath