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Deepfakes-An Emerging Technology That Is Still Alien To The World.


Deepfakes: So recently I came across many funny videos on social media where people were putting some of their friend’s or relative’s pictures to do some funny expressions. Then there are some other videos where people were literally putting their own face in a movie scene. I was so amazed by what I saw and am pretty sure so are you. So thus I researched what is this all going on and came across something called Deepfakes. This is what I got to know by spending all my hours lol.

What in the world are Deepfakes?

Deepfakes are techniques or algorithms which are used to create synthetic video or image content basically fake by manipulating original faces of people into something that never existed. This is done using artificial intelligence and machine learning. So have you ever seen videos of Bill Gates saying that he is a secret member of the Illuminati or Mark Zuckerberg confessing how he has control over the world through the user data of Facebook? If yes, then there is a high chance you have seen a video altered with Deepfakes.


Where did it originate?

Though the technology existed for several years, the term Deepfakes was coined somewhere around December of 2017 by a Reddit user with the same name who used to make p*rnographic videos by swapping the p*rn performers with celebrities. Thereafter in Jan 2018 many software came to the market which were based on the same technique. The technique used was an artificial neural network which is a type of machine learning technique that works somewhere like our own brain in which the algorithm tries to find the underlying relationships in a group of data to make decisions of its own.

What are Deepfakes actually used for?

Though the technology is genius and some call it the photoshop of the 21st century but it had majorly been associated with notorious acts. According to some AI firms, it is estimated that 99% of the videos using Deepfakes are adult videos. As there are many new techniques and software which allow users to create a realistic video without any skill with only a handful of images. Apart from this, Deepfakes are mostly used for pranks, fun, and some notorious minds use them for revenge.

Can these videos be spotted and distinguished?

So the answer is actually yes and no. With the improving technology, it becomes harder to spot the difference between a real and a fake one. We are not far away from the day when it will be near impossible to separate a real video from fakes.

In 2018, some US researchers found that some of these videos had people who were not blinking even once. As we all know the videos are made with few images and as images are taken with open eyes then it was quite difficult for the software to create a blinking eye. But no sooner after the research got published, videos appeared with blinking eyes seamlessly integrated. This shows that technology is almost unbeatable as soon as the fault floats it gets fixed.

It is worth mentioning that these Deepfakes to create requires very high-end hardware which is why most of the videos floating on the web are of poor quality.  Lip-synching might be bad, or the skin tone patch, glitchy around the edges of transposed faces. And fine details, such as hair, are particularly hard for Deepfakes to render well, especially where strands are visible on the fringe. Badly rendered jewelry and teeth can also be a way to spot, as can strange lighting effects, such as inconsistent illumination and reflections on the iris can also distinguish fake videos.




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