Technology has been moving at a breakneck speed providing a myriad of advancements for all of us - but at the same time some very disconcerting pitfalls have emerged too.
One such development has been DeepFakes.
What seems like a super fun technology also has the ability to do some serious harm to our society.
This article talks about how we can mitigate the worrying aspects of DeepFakes.
What are Deepfakes
Deepfakes are where a persons face is mapped onto another persons face in an existing video. This can make it appear like someone is doing something out of character.
It can be involved to explain the whole idea so check out this video to catch a glimpse of what DeepFakes are.
The Massive Issue with Them
Having worked in the 3D animation industry before I find this technology to be amazing. What was impossible ten years ago doesn't even even require an animator any more.
Right now it's a ton of fun watching these deep fakes, but the concerns surrounding them are real and potentially harmful.
Video could be modified to show a president declaring war on another country. Perhaps it could be modified in such a way as to defame someone.
In fact it's been used to map peoples faces on pornography - that's got some very worrying ramifications around privacy and defamation.
Solution to DeepFakes
There's actually loads of behavioral changes we can make that will solve these problems. However in this post I'm going to talk about a technological solution.
This is one of the few instances where I think solving a technology problem with a technology solution makes sense.
The solution is one brought to you by Bitcoin - more specifically BlockChain technology.
The drawback of a computer file like an image, text file or video is that it can be copied multiple times. In fact it can be copied so many times that you can't tell which was the original one.
Simply put, it's a problem about authenticity.
The BlockChain solved this by accurately recording the movement of a single file/set of data. This movement is verified by multiple computers on the Blockchain. If it's not verified then the transaction or file is considered in invalid.
By doing this the Blockchain effectively turns a file into an asset because it now becomes unique.
This is a huge an oversimplification of how things work but it highlights that Blockchain solved the problem of how to make a file unique.
Therein lies the solution to DeepFakes.
All video can be made uniquely identifiable via the BlockChain, so you can track it and validate it as being authentic. If it's not on the Blockchain more than likely it's not authentic.
Some platforms have emerged like LBRY that 'host' videos on the BlockChain already.
There are many many things to work out with hosting on content on the BlockChain currently.
Currently hosting text and images on the BlockChain works just fine, but video still poses some challenges.
Irrespective of that, BlockChain offers a compelling way to maintain the integrity and authenticity of the video. This massive advantage will certainly prove useful in mitigate the harmful effects of DeepFakes.
Bitcoin started out as a means for individuals to maintain their property rights over their money. The same BlockChain principles of immutability, verifiability, transparency and encryption are the same principles that will allow us to solve problems of DeepFakes.
It all boils down to determining if something is authentic.
In today's weird world of weird problems including those of DeepFakes, it looks like BlockChain could solve that and a lot more.
Photo by Christian Gertenbach on Unsplash