You may have never heard of the term “synthetic media” – more commonly known as “deepfakes”. They are ‘real-life’ recordings in the form of video and audio that use artificial intelligence to create ‘fake’ or ‘deepfakes’ content.
Deepfakes are known as images of a person whose face or body has been digitally altered.
The US government is increasingly concerned about their potential to be used, to spread misinformation and to commit crimes.
This is because the creators of these videos have the power to get people to say or do something, at least on our screens, writes American journalist Bill Whitaker.
DeepFake is a sophisticated computer algorithm that manages to copy the behavior of someone’s facial muscles and voice, and replace them in a specific person.
Typical examples where “deepfakes” are demonstrated are mainly in the images where they present the face of Tom Cruise, but in reality it is not the real one. The videos began to be distributed on the TikTok app earlier this year.
For days people wondered if the images were real and if not, who created them?
Finally, it turned out that behind these images stood 32-year-old Belgian, also a visual effects artist named Chris Ume.
“We believed as long as we were making it clear that this was a parody, we were not doing anything to damage his image. But after a few videos, we realized that this had taken off; “And we were getting millions and millions of views,” said Chris Ume.
Chris Ume even shows how he makes these videos that seem to have piqued people’s curiosity.
“It starts with training a deepfake model, of course. I have all the corners of Tom Cruise’s face, all the expressions, all the emotions. “It takes time to create a really good false model,” Ume said.
“‘Training’ means that he will analyze all the images of Tom Cruise, all his expressions, compared to my imitator. So the computer will teach itself: When my simulator is smiling, I will recreate Tom Cruise smiling and thus “training” him, he added.
However, in addition to the entertaining aspect with the example of Tom Cruise, videos with fake content “deepfakes” are arousing fears that they can be used for malicious purposes.
Policy scientist and technology consultant Nina Schick wrote one of her first books on deepfakes. She first encountered them, four years ago, when she was advising European politicians on the use of misinformation by Russia and social media to interfere in democratic elections.
“Given that I was coming from the perspective of misinformation and manipulation in the context of elections, the fact that Artificial Intelligence can now be used to make fake images and videos that look hyper-realistic. “I thought, well, from the disinformation point of view, this is a change of game,” Schick said when asked how she reacted when she realized something like this was possible.
So far, there is no evidence that “deepfakes” videos have “changed the game” in any of the US elections, but earlier this year, the FBI issued a statement warning that Russian (and) Chinese actors … Were using synthetic profile images “- creating” deepfakes “journalists and media personalities to spread anti-American propaganda on social networks, reports CBS News.
The U.S. military, law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been carefully watching these videos for years.
At a 2019 hearing, Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska asked if the U.S. was ready for the onslaught of misinformation, forgery, and fraud.
Like the Internet, deepfakes technology was first used in pornography. Nowadays, pornographic videos mostly feature the faces of famous women.
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