Deepfake are videos that have been constructed to make a person appear to say or do something that they never said or did. With artificial intelligence based methods for creating deepfakes becoming increasingly sophisticated and accessible, deepfakes are raising a set of challenging policy, technology and legal issues.
In fact the term deepfake refers to counterfeit, computer-generated video and audio that is hard to distinguish from genuine, unaltered content. The vast majority of deepfakes circulating the Internet are featuring celebrities and politicians. Actually, candidates in a political campaign can be targeted by manipulated videos in which their appear to say things that can harm their chances for the election, for instance, the well known video of the former president of USA Barack Obama warning against fake news, was created by filmmaker Jorden Peele in which he says “this is a dangerous time. Moving forward, we need to be more vigilant with what we trust from the internet”.
Furthermore, the process of creating a deepfake video requires many pictures of a person’s face, which makes celebrities particularly vulnerable. It was often being used to place the faces of famous celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Taylor Swift onto the bodies of pornographic film actresses.
However, The process that creates deepfakes often leaves very visible artifacts around a person’s face. Blurring or flickering, for example, are very common, especially when the face changes angles very rapidly. Another common issue with deepfakes is that the eyes often move independently of each other. Deepfake videos tend to be rendered at a low resolution, which helps hide these issues.
In short, everyone with even the slightest digital footprint is at risk. What you see and hear is no longer an indication of truth. Though, it is important to remember that deepfakes and artificial intelligence are not inherently bad. Deepfakes are like a double-edged sword. Besides all the scary dangers on one side of the sword, there is also the other side, filled with positive possibilities, innovativity and a lot of fun! There is after all a reason these deepfake apps go viral: they are super entertaining. They allow you to be the star of the biggest movies, or meet the future version of yourself.