Deepfake Detection AI is Catching Up to Fakes

Peyton Gouzien | @pgouzien

As deepfake AI gets more realistic, worries of their implications on our politics are growing. The Senate recently passed legislation to research the threat deepfakes, edited videos that can give viewers the impression that a speaker is saying something different than what they really are,  pose to society. But while the government makes moves to understand the new technology, AI developers have already begun to catch up with detection software.

A digital forensics technique has been effective so far at detecting deepfakes. Though experts warn it won’t be able to keep up forever, startup companies have been racing to meet the demand for new ways to combat and identify Deepfakes.

The Deepfake War: AI vs AI

Deeptrace, a startup out of Amsterdam, has been working hard on deepfake detection AI. The program runs in a manner similar to anti-virus software; it operates as a background program that can detect the use of deepfake AI. The technology’s accuracy in identifying deepfakes has been generally reliable so far.

Deeptrace seeks to go farther than others who are combating deepfakes. They design their algorithms to identify face-swapping and expression alterations within deepfake videos. Deeptrace recognizes that the problem goes further than the “digital puppetry of human body movements” and synthesizing of fake audio of deepfake targets.

Established Companies Join the Fight

Startups are not the only ones making contributions to combat Deepfakes. Microsoft and Facebook, among other corporations, are creating a “Deepfake Detection Challenge” to seek an advantage over the creators of these videos. The companies have banded together to fund this project.

In order to solve the problem, they are offering independent coders data sets as a basis to develop their own program. The challenge itself begins in December of 2019 and ends March 2020. The program founders hope it will “incentivize rapid progress in this area”.

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