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Deepfake wasn't really a term many people used before (approx.) 2015-2017. Now for the people who think this is as simple as just photoshopping an image or crudely posting a face over someone elses, I've got news for you. This technology has been around since the early days of photos and motion pictures starting back in the late 19th century to early 20th century. After a simple internet search of deepfakes one will see that this technology is far more complicated than most people realize. Videos can be manipulated to the point where lips and even facial expression match that of the original format. The technology is so advanced that in 1997 the Video Rewrite program, which modified existing video footage of a person speaking to depict that person mouthing the words contained in a different audio track it was the first system to fully automate this kind of facial reanimation, and it did so using machine learning techniques to make connections between the sounds produced by a video's subject and the shape of the subject's face. Now lets jump ahead to the late 2010s we have programs like Face2Face program which modifies video footage of a person's face to depict them mimicking the facial expressions of another person in real time. The project lists as a main research contribution the first method for re-enacting facial expressions in real time using a camera that does not capture depth, making it possible for the technique to be performed using common consumer cameras. In August 2018, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley published a paper introducing a fake dancing app that can create the impression of masterful dancing ability using AI. This project expands the application of deepfakes to the entire body; previous works focused on the head or parts of the face. Now it may seem like all fun and games making someone like a celebrity or politician look and say outlandish things. But what if the powers at be used this technology with ill intentions? Millions of people still watch televised news or even follow along on the internet but what if we get to a point where we can't tell the truth from fiction? This technology goes beyond just computer uses. You can access similar softwares with apps found right on your phone's app market. Apps like the FakeApp or Faceswap show the potential for giving anyone with a phone to create their own form of deepfake. A mobile deepfake app, Impressions, was launched in March 2020. It was the first app for the creation of celebrity deepfake videos from mobile phones. This technology is growing fast and just like AI, GPS, and data mining it could go far beyond what we expect. All you have to do is search up deepfakes and you will see countless videos, some you can tell there is manipulation, others are very well made and to the untrained eye can appear to be real. This is one of the many forms of technologies that can cause great impact if used for the wrong purposes. Stay safe out there and question everything you see.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Delaying the information to the public; deeming when it's the right time for us to know. Good article!