What are deepfakes?
Deepfakes are doctored videos that are made using layers of video and AI. Wikipedia describes them as “…combin[ing] and superimpose[ing] images and videos onto source images or videos.” They are used to create celebrity porn, social hoaxes, and, increasingly, to provide fake news content. Often the face of a well known person, such as Barack Obama, is taken and imposed on another video, to make it look real.
Seeing as most people are still inclined to believe video is real, this makes deepfakes extremely controversial. They have been banned on social media platforms Twitter, Gfycat, Reddit, and Pornhub.
Most of the people that work to fight deepfakes say it is only a matter of time before you cannot tell if a video has been created or if it is real. Many believe the creation of such sophisticated deepfakes is less than a year away. To further complicate matters, research that gets published concerning detecting deepfakes is used to further the sophistication of the tool. This makes it even harder to detect if a video is a deepfake or real.
We have to ask the questions: What could a future look like where you cannot tell what is real and what is not? How does the creation of such videos effect our relationship with technology? What sort of cyber security technology might be created to combat these creations?