The word “synthetic media” might sound unfamiliar to you; it is known very commonly as deepfakes. It is basically “deep learning” and “fake“ put together. Deepfakes are synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness. Although making fraudulent content is not fresh content, deepfakes leverage powerful algorithms from AI and ML to steer or generate visual and audio content with a high potential to deceive. The main machine learning methods used for this black magic are based on deep learning and involve generative neural network architectures, such as autoencoders or generative adversarial networks (GANs).
Now that we know about deepfakes, lets dive right into the puzzling facts about deepfakes:
1. History brought to life:
Now AI is making it easier than ever to reanimate the past. Will that change how we understand the history and, as a result, ourselves? The desire to bring the past back to life in vivid fashion is not new. Civil War or Revolutionary War reenactments are commonplace. In 2018, Peter Jackson painstakingly restored and colorized World War I footage to create “They Shall Not Grow Old”, a film that allowed 21st-century viewers to experience the Great War more immediately than ever before.
2. The battle against disinformation is global:
Human rights activists and journalists can use synthetic media to remain anonymous in dictatorial and oppressive regimes. Citizen journalists and activists can also gain a lot of power by using technology to report atrocities on traditional or social media. Deepfake can also be used to mask the identity of people’s voices and faces to protect their privacy. Disinformation-spewing online bots and trolls from halfway around the world are continuing to shape local and national debates by spreading lies online on a massive scale. For instance, in 2019, Russia used Facebook to intervene in the internal politics of eight African nations. There is no perfect approach, given the different cultural and legal traditions in play. But there’s plenty to learn and use to diminish outsiders’ ability to hack democracy.
Artificial intelligence-generated synthetic media can bring historical figures to life in the classroom. Thus, making lessons more engaging and interactive. A synthetic video of reenactments or a voice and video of a historical figure will have a greater impact. It might increase engagement and be a more effective learning tool.
4. Corporate Level Fraud:
The most common attack methods are those based on deepfakes. Fraudsters no longer try to persuade an organization’s employee to transfer money via a fake email. They persuade them through a phone call where the caller sounds like the CFO or CEO.
Deepfakes provide us with the opportunity to make a difference in our lives. There will be a time when the deepfakes will get integrated with AR/VR and make a more astounding impact on all walks of life. Deepfakes can smear people’s reputations, fabricate evidence and defraud the public. It can erode public confidence in democratic institutions. With further improvements and better laws regarding Deepfakes, it will be a great technology to use.