No new invention is inherently good or bad. But it depends on the use that the human being makes of it. Think of a kitchen knife, very useful and good, but also dangerous.
Then there are the very latest technologies. Social media, if used obsessively and for too long, is also harmful. Just as chocolate is very bad if eaten in abundance.
Similarly, artificial intelligence, if used for the wrong ends and purposes, becomes harmful. One of these cases is deepfakes: videos edited with attention to detail with which false news and information are then spread.
Do you remember the YouTube video of the bird that grabs a child with its claws and almost raises it in flight to take it away? Then because of his weight, he lets it go, while a parent watches the scene terrified …
Here is that video, which most people still think is true (and is still shared), was a hoax. IT’S FALSE.
It is an experiment by three students from the National Animation and Design Center in Montreal, Canada. It was an experiment to prove that some information disseminated on the net can easily be a deception. While everyone, however, believes that they are true.
WHAT ARE DEEPFAKES
Deepfakes are a big deal. They are videos or images that have been created to make it look like someone else is saying or doing something.
This can be done for political purposes, to create fake news, or to simply confuse and deceive people online.
The name “deepfake” comes from the fact that these videos are created using deep learning algorithms.
Specifically, a computer program is used with many images and videos of a person (the one you want to deceive) or of contexts or situations to be altered.
The program then learns to mimic that person’s facial expressions, lip movements, and voice.
This is then used to create a new video or image of the person doing or saying something they never said or did.
While deepfakes can be used for good, such as creating realistic avatars for video games, they are also used to spread misinformation online.
This is a big deal because it’s becoming harder and harder to tell what’s real and what’s fake on the internet. This could have serious consequences for our society.
HOW DEEPFAKES ARE BUILT
Deepfakes are made with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).
It might sound complicated, but it’s not that difficult to make well-edited and lifelike videos. There are many online tutorials that show you how.
It is almost within the reach of a child.
All you need is a computer and some software. You also need a lot of pictures and videos of the person you want the deepfake for.
A situation that you want to modify or make a sort of collage with another video (for example an eagle flying and grabbing an animal to merge with the images of a child playing in the park and maybe jumping.)
The first step is to feed the computer software with these images and videos. The program learns to mimic a person’s facial expressions, lip movements, and voice.
This is then used to create a new video or image of a person saying or doing something they never said or did.
Thanks to an automatic learning algorithm to combine images and videos of the person you want to impersonate, the audio of the voice also acquires that of the real person.
This can be used to make it appear that someone is saying something they didn’t actually say, or doing something they didn’t actually do.
THE POWER OF AI
The term deepfake is a new term. It was born for the first time in 2017 in a short time it went around the web.
Deep fake and fake news have a lot in common: in both cases, they are fake content that is spread on a large scale via the web.
In approximately 5 years there has been a strong evolution thanks to widespread algorithms. This makes these video edits truly affordable for everyone.
In fact, deepfakes are becoming more and more realistic. This is because the technology used to create them is getting better and better.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing an important role in this.
AI is a branch of computer science that is concerned with creating intelligent machines that can work and react like humans. Thanks to the algorithms.
Machine learning is a part of AI. It is a method of teaching computers to learn from data, without being explicitly programmed.
This is what is used to create deepfakes. The more data you have, the better the deepfake will be.
Deepfakes are often created for political purposes. They can be used to spread false information about politicians or other public figures.
This can cause confusion and distrust among the public. To discourage them from traditional press information as well.
It is precisely a phenomenon that distorts the perception of reality because it removes the reference point and then users no longer believe in anything or believe only in what is closest to their point of view.
THE WORST OF THESE MEANS
In some cases, deepfakes can also be used to blackmail people.
For example, someone might threaten to release your deepfake video unless you give them some money.
Deepfakes can also be used for non-political purposes. For example, someone could create a deepfake video of his ex-partner to humiliate him.
Think of the video made as proof by the director of Get Out: in the images, Obama says things he never said.
Or, someone could create a fake celebrity porn video for entertainment purposes.
Some deepfakes are so convincing that it’s hard to guess they are fake.
HOW TO EXPOSE THEM?
The best way to tell if a video is a deepfake or not is to look for anything weird that might be happening.
For example, the person’s lips may not match the audio, or their facial expressions may not match what they are saying.
You can also try playing the video through an online tool like DeepFakeDetection.
This is a tool that uses machine learning to detect deepfakes. However, it is not 100% accurate.
Another way to tell if a video is fake is to look at the source.
If you are watching a video on YouTube, for example, check if it was uploaded from a reliable source. If not, there is a possibility that it is a fake.
There are also some things you can do to protect yourself from these bogus montages.
For example, you can avoid clicking on links from people you don’t know and you can be careful what information you share online.
You should also think carefully before sharing any personal information or videos online.
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