Deepfake: A Threat to the Future Political Sphere?

Deepfake: A Threat to the Future Political Sphere?

The highly convincing AI-generated videos of people and events can lead to a series of disinformative campaigns all around. Targeting the political aspects in the country, deepfakes can change the course of elections and thereby affecting the public in a negative way. Deepfake technology videos can be made with just one image of a person's face. The evolving advanced AI can make realistic human faces without any hassle. With the technology booming rapidly and with the same set of deepfake algorithms, the upcoming generation can easily create movies with complete realistic human actors.

However, a report from Deeptrace, a cybersecurity startup, claims that deepfake technology will be used to influence the voters ahead of the upcoming 2020 US Presidential elections. Studies also say that, the number of deepfake videos is doubling over the last seven months. Earlier this year, a video of Gabon’s President, Ali Bongo’s caused immense confused reactions in the country and later in the mid of 2019, a clip involving a Malaysian Cabinet Minister was released just to manipulate voters ahead of the elections. Moreover, deepfakes have started to destabilize the political parties but not any sooner can it cause the demolishing the image in the political aspects.

How to Recognize the Deepfake Content?

The method works with superimposing existing images or videos onto source images/videos using the machine learning techniques. These deepfake videos can look absolutely real but research at the University at Albany says that one of the best ways to tell if a video is indeed deepfake is to observe the eyes of the person in the video. The blinking detection method can bring out the fact that the video is fake or not.

Why India can be the Next Victim?

India is the largest democratic country and obviously it can be targeted very easily because of this feat. Even though, deepfakes is not that famous in India, a lack of awareness of the capabilities of it could lead people to believe false stories to be true, mostly because it’s really hard to distinguish between the real and the synthetic. If deepfake technologies are not popular, then an initial video or audio recording can disrupt the trust in the media. In India, the media literacy in the rural regions is really poor and can cause serious damage if sensitive topics such as religion, caste and politics are questioned. Even though, the quality of the video and audio is not good enough.

How Companies are Fighting Against ‘Deepfake’?

Popular companies such as Microsoft and Facebook already partnered to figure out open source tools that can better detect if a video has been altered. Facebook and Microsoft partnered with Cornell Tech, MIT, University of Oxford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, College Park and University at Albany-SUNY to build the Deepfake Detection Challenge. The research will build AI systems, which detect the light imperfections in an altered image and expose its fraudalent image. Most experts believe that deepfakes can really hurt the reputation of the victim in a great deal.