The Independent

Deeply Fake

Shayan Malik, Cutting Edge Editor

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A strange new phenomenon has surfaced into the world today. Deepfake is a new source of technology that allows people to morphe videos and photos into one singular piece. These videos are created through a computer generated program that uses a technique called, “Generative Advising Network” (GAN). Furthermore, the combination of different photos and videos result in a fake video that can show a person or group of people performing an action that they have never completed.

 

Many people create these videos using apps such as FakeApp. This app can create Artificial-Intelligence (AI) generated material such as accurate facial reconstructions then apply them to a video or other moving image, thus creating a Deepfake video.

 

There are countless different ways people can use this software. For example, users can seamlessly create fake videos of the president or any politician saying or doing something they have never done before. This software can be used to create fake news and hoaxes.

 

In April 2018, Jordan Peel and Jonah Peretti from Comedy Central, created a Deepfake video using former president, Barack Obama’s face, educating the public about the danger of Deepfakes. The video looks and sounds completely like Obama, but it was created by Peel and Peretti.

 

Similarly, pictures or videos of celebrities can be taken and morphed using the Deepfake program to create an explicit video. Scarlett Johansson, a frequent subject of these videos, described the internet as a “vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself” in an interview with The Washington Post. She was highly disheartened with the way people have started to use and abuse the internet nowadays.  

 

In addition, Johansson spoke about how she was not going try to attempt to remove those videos from the internet as Deepfake videos are a “lost cause” and would not affect her public image.

 

However, she believes that while celebrities like herself are protected by their fame, Deepfakes pose a threat to women of lesser prominence. These videos could completely ruin their reputations and destroy their relationships with other people.

 

Nonetheless, society should be aware of the dangers of this new technology as it could appear anywhere at any time. One should think twice next time one sees a sketchy video of a politician or celebrity.

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Deeply Fake