Science & Technology

After Fake News, Watch Out For 'DeepFake' Videos Where Anyone Can 'Appear' To Say Anything

| April 22 , 2018 , 14:15 IST

Reading is not believing in the age of fake news, and soon the concept of 'seeing is believing' may have to be junked as well as the popularity of 'deep fake' videos and their quality improve exponentially.

In an entirely new frontier of 'fake news', the deep fake videos use technology, visual effects and artificial intelligence to make anyone appear to be saying anything in a video, even former US President Barack Obama using abusive language, as BuzzFeed depicted in a video last week.

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In its video Buzfeed first shows Obama making outrageous statements, and then reveals actor-director Jordan Peele side-by-side, showing how the statements shown from Obama were actually spoken by Peele in a realistic deep fake video.

While 'photoshopping' pictures and editing videos is common technology, making a person in a video say completely different words is a whole new ballpark, one which reportedly has caught the eye of Indian political parties.

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According to Subodh Kumar, an IIT Delhi professor specialising in computer graphics and visualisation quoted by Times of India, the idea is for a neural network to learn the points of the face, then find and learn the function that will describe each image.

“It creates a succinct representation of the face — mathematically, not geometrically — and then a symmetric function that gives you back the image. So you do that for person X from the many images in a video, and reverse map it for person Y,” said Kumar.

Buzzfeed advised a series of steps to follow to verify the authenticity of the video, including a careful monitoring of the video, checking the source, checking where else the video has appeared, watching the mouth area in the video and watching the video in slow motion.

Watch Buzzfeed's deep fake video below: