BetaNews: In a world of deepfakes, who can you trust?. “Though they seem like something out of a futuristic sci-fi movie, deepfakes are very much a reality. In fact, developers have been experimenting with deepfake technology as far back as the late 1990s. Today, deepfakes have become so advanced and believable that they can cause some serious damage in the wrong hands.”
CNN: Twitter botches fact-check of manipulated Biden video retweeted by Trump. “Twitter (TWTR) said it would take action against a misleading video of former Vice President Joe Biden that was retweeted by President Donald Trump, a major action that courted blowback from the White House. But then the social media company botched it.”
The Next Web: Scientists figured out how to fool state-of-the-art Deepfake detectors. “A team of researchers from UC San Diego recently came up with a relatively simple method for convincing fake video-detectors that AI-generated fakes are the real deal.”
Gizmodo: Clever Browser Tool Erases People From Live Webcam Feeds in Real Time. “An extra post-it note is all you really need to prevent someone from spying on you through a laptop’s built-in webcam. But Jason Mayes apparently likes to do things the hard way: He’s developed an AI-powered tool for browsers that can erase people from live webcam feeds in real-time but leave everything else in the shot.” It’s not perfect, but even imperfect it’s pretty damn impressive.
Motherboard: We’ve Just Seen the First Use of Deepfakes in an Indian Election Campaign. “With deepfake election campaigns though, we are crossing over into an era where it’s going to be impossible to trust what we see and hear. The video of Tiwari, seated in front of a green-coloured wall and talking to the camera, was used to reproduce a forged version where he says things he never actually said, in a language he doesn’t even know! In this case, the speech was scripted, vetted and approved by the BJP for the creation of the deepfakes. But it’s not difficult to imagine someone faking a video to issue threats or hate against a specific section of the population.”
Berkeley Engineering: UC Berkeley professor influences Facebook’s efforts to combat deepfakes . “Hany Farid, a Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences, was one of the researchers Facebook approached last year. The company ultimately invested $7.5 million with Berkeley, Cornell University and the University of Maryland to develop technology to spot the deepfakes. In a brief interview, Farid, who has a joint appointment at the School of Information, said manipulated videos, which often portray politicians and celebrities saying or doing things they didn’t do, pose a serious threat to society.”
Ars Technica: I created my own deepfake—it took two weeks and cost $552. “My Ars overlords gave me a few days to play around with deepfake software and a $1,000 cloud computing budget. A couple of weeks later, I have my result, which you can see above. I started with a video of Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress and replaced his face with that of Lieutenant Commander Data (Brent Spiner) from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Total spent: $552.”