A closer look at deepfakes. Let our experts explain if there’s a reason to worry.June 27, 20192 min read
Deepfakes…they’re eerie, entertaining and getting a lot of attention.
Deepfake videos are made using artificial intelligence technology which can manipulate someone's face in a video to make it look like they are saying something that they didn't. It's one level up from dubbing, or lip syncing, and can appear very convincing. One example is a video that was made using footage of Mark Zuckerburg in 2017; it was doctored and falsely portrays the Facebook CEO discussing how he had stolen data. – The Sun, June 26
The new concept is all the rage and has seen people spoofed, mocked and tricked. But as once again technology outpaces legislation and with an election approaching, deepfakes have some people going off the deep end.
Every day, thousands of videos are posted online, which means that any potential filtering program would need to be able to quickly and efficiently detect fake content. Even then, such media would likely be removed only after being published, meaning that the video would likely have already had an impact.
For these reasons, deepfakes are expected to contribute to the upcoming 2020 election in the United States, likely acting as an agent of spreading fake news. However, Edward Delp, a Purdue University professor who developed a computer program to help detect these videos, believes deepfakes pose a bigger threat.
“Deepfakes pose a threat to more than just political videos,” he said. “It can be used in making fake child pornography, revenge porn and financial bribes. Just general criminal behavior.” – The Exponent (Purdue University), June 21
As deepfakes become more common on social media and the internet, odds are they will make their way – accidentally or not – into the actual media. And as America still battles with the fake news phenomenon, will Deepfakes further erode our trust in media and our leaders?
As deepfakes become more common on social media and the internet, odds are they will make their way into the actual media. So, what can be done?
- How will these deepfakes affect the perception of news media?
- What simple advice can we apply to verify if something is real or fake?
- And do these videos represent a threat to democracy, as some experts are saying?
Dr. Gregg R. Murray, professor of political science at Augusta University, is available to talk about the implications of this new threat. Murray’s research focuses on political behavior and psychology with specific interests in voter mobilization and turnout. He is also executive director of the Association for Politics and the Life Sciences.
Gregg Murray Professor of Political Science | Department of Social Sciences
Murray's research focuses on political behavior and psychology with specific interests in voter mobilization during the COVID-19 pandemic.