Look out, "Deepfake" videos coming for future elections

Mar 2012
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41,339
New Hampshire
Just wonderful, now they can actually change videos of politicians so it looks like they said something they never did.

New technology on the internet lets anyone make videos of real people appearing to say things they’ve never said. Republicans and Democrats predict this high-tech way of putting words in someone’s mouth will become the latest weapon in disinformation wars against the United States and other Western democracies.

We’re not talking about lip-syncing videos. This technology uses facial mapping and artificial intelligence to produce videos that appear so genuine it’s hard to spot the phonies. Lawmakers and intelligence officials worry that the bogus videos — called deepfakes — could be used to threaten national security or interfere in elections. “I expect that here in the United States we will start to see this content in the upcoming midterms and national election two years from now,” said Hany Farid, a digital forensics expert at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. “The technology, of course, knows no borders, so I expect the impact to ripple around the globe.”

When an average person can create a realistic fake video of the president saying anything they want, Farid said, “we have entered a new world where it is going to be difficult to know how to believe what we see.” The reverse is a concern, too. People may dismiss as fake genuine footage, say of a real atrocity, to score political points. A foreign intelligence agency could use the technology to produce a fake video of an American politician using a racial epithet or taking a bribe, Rubio says. They could use a fake video of a U.S. soldier massacring civilians overseas, or one of a U.S. official supposedly admitting a secret plan to carry out a conspiracy. Imagine a fake video of a U.S. leader — or an official from North Korea or Iran — warning the United States of an impending disaster.

“It’s a weapon that could be used — timed appropriately and placed appropriately — in the same way fake news is used, except in a video form, which could create real chaos and instability on the eve of an election or a major decision of any sort,” Rubio told The Associated Press.

https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2018/07/02/i-never-said-that-high-tech-deception-of-deepfake-videos
 
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Oct 2013
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If voters are still that stupid that they buy everything they see or hear on the Internet then it really doesn't matter.
 

Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
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Pennsylvania, USA
Public schools need to augment their curriculums with something along the lines of "Critically evaluating online media information." Any student given a collection of real and false stories should be able to quickly identify those story which have been modified. And everyone should know that if you want to improve your chance of getting accurate details about a current event, local news from the town/city in question are more likely to provide info than others.

If you see a 14-second video of Trump saying something outlandishly offensive. Yeah, in that case, it's probably true. But it's also an extremely safe bet that the comment was written about at the time it was made. Before deciding it's accurate, find published articles (not blogs) about the quote. Find out where/when the quote was made. And ideally, find a video of the entire speech, so you can determine whether the 14-seconds was taken out of context.
 
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Mar 2012
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Going to be a massive problem especially if the mainstream news continue their "we have to be first with the news" and they fall for these videos.
 
Oct 2013
27,068
23,492
USA
Public schools need to augment their curriculums with something along the lines of "Critically evaluating online media information." Any student given a collection of real and false stories should be able to quickly identify those story which have been modified. And everyone should know that if you want to improve your chance of getting accurate details about a current event, local news from the town/city in question are more likely to provide info than others.
Critical thinking and evaluation tools. You know what, I think that is a brilliant idea and needed in this time we find ourselves in. Expediency in processing information makes fools out of too many to ignore.
 
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Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
52,477
39,611
Pennsylvania, USA
Going to be a massive problem especially if the mainstream news continue their "we have to be first with the news" and they fall for these videos.
Not necessarily. The mainstream news normally covers the events themselves. CNN doesn't claim "we found a video of Trump saying or doing something stupid." They use videos that were taken by CNN crewmembers using CNN-owned equipment.

CNN isn't going to report on something that appears on a Facebook feed without heavy-duty disclaimers.
 

Macduff

Moderator
Apr 2010
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The good news is that if you ever wanted to see Daisy Ridley in a sex video, you can now pretend.
 
Mar 2012
59,855
41,339
New Hampshire
Not necessarily. The mainstream news normally covers the events themselves. CNN doesn't claim "we found a video of Trump saying or doing something stupid." They use videos that were taken by CNN crewmembers using CNN-owned equipment.

CNN isn't going to report on something that appears on a Facebook feed without heavy-duty disclaimers.
Maybe but in breaking news scenarios like a shooting or an attack, a video could be doctored and shown quite quickly. They already use cell phone photos and twitter for these.
 

Djinn

Council Hall
Dec 2007
52,477
39,611
Pennsylvania, USA
Maybe but in breaking news scenarios like a shooting or an attack, a video could be doctored and shown quite quickly. They already use cell phone photos and twitter for these.
Not THAT quickly. In order to make DeepFake videos, certain conditions have to be met:

1) You need a HUGE database of the individual being faked. To use the early example of "Daisy Ridley in a sex video," you would require literally thousands of clear, current images of Daisy Ridley's face. For a celebrity, or high-ranking politician this isn't an issue. Odds are pretty good that all of photos of you (reading this) aren't nearly enough, even if someone took the time to collect them.

2) You need a source video in which the subject being replaced keeps their face fairly steady. Speeches are good. Porn shoots work. Tennis matches don't work well. Neither would cell phone footage of a shooting or attack.

3) If you're planning to fake the audio, you need many hours of recorded speeches by that person. This works well for politicians. It can work for celebrities, if someone trims out other voices (from an interview) - but that'll take time.

4) It takes at least two or three days of rendering time to produce decent footage. Obviously this will decrease as computers get faster.
 
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