What is a deepfake?
Deepfakes are a rising form of popular synthetic media today which uses artificial intelligence to make images or videos in the likeness of someone.
While watching a video for example, you might think that this person is saying certain things or doing certain things in the image or video, but it is only a high-quality manipulation or fake event.
It could be a celebrity, a politician, it could be anyone that gets their likeness manipulated and used in this sort of content.
The technology enables almost anyone to create realistic-looking videos or images of someone saying or doing certain things that they might never say or do.
Deepfakes reportedly first started to come on the scene back in 2017 but have grown in prevalence since then, popping up all over the internet. Several videos with this content have gone viral and have been seen by millions.
Toward the end of 2019 it was estimated that there were some 14,678 deepfake videos online.
"They are a powerful new tool for those who might want to (use) misinformation to influence an election,” - J. Villasenor
There is a clear concern that once these videos start to become more mainstream and feature your local politician, it might become more of a problem then. Not that you should ever trust anything a politician has to say anyways, as a good rule of thumb given their track record, but deepfakes no doubt will help to fuel a distortion in the world ranging from the porn industry to the political realm, and beyond.
Technology experts recognize the rise of deepfakes as a potential security risk and it is one that continues to grow rapidly. The hope is that detection techniques will be able to keep pace so that they can help people to tell the difference between what is real and what is fake. Right now that technology is said to be lagging behind, fueling further concern.