Explainer: Is `Deep Fake’ next level of `Fake News’?

By Amritha Mohan  Published on  22 Feb 2020 3:24 AM GMT
Explainer: Is `Deep Fake’ next level of `Fake News’?

Hyderabad: Weeks after BJP allegedly used ‘Deep Fake’ videos of MP Manoj Tiwari for Delhi elections, controversy has erupted over the new technology, which is being considered as next level of “fake news”.

But what exactly is Deep Fake? It refers to those manipulated videos or audio recordings which can easily be passed off as genuine. The technology first hogged the limelight in 2017. Since then it has been used by people to create fake porn videos using celebrity images, videos and sound bites.

How is it done?

Deep Fake manipulations include altering the lip movements in the original video to match it with the completely new audio recording, which has been fed into the source. Other manipulations can be done by swapping the face of the original video with a completely new face, using AI algorithm.

Manipulation of Manoj Tiwari’s videos could be one of the first instances where Deep Fake technology has been used for political campaigns in India. While at first glance, the video might seem real, a report in Vice revealed that the two monologues were fake.

The original video of Manoj Tiwari was in Hindi, but it was manipulated into Haryanvi and English, using Deep Fake technology’s Artificial Intelligence algorithm. The doctored video was meant to sway the Haryanvi-speaking migrant worker population in Delhi and prevent them from voting for Arvind Kejriwal. Reportedly, these Deep Fakes were distributed across more than 5,000 WhatsApp groups in the Delhi and NCR region, reaching approximately 15 million people.

Why Deep Fakes point towards an alarming trend?

Deep fakes are problematic because no software has been designed to detect Deep Fake videos, according to experts. The first step is to recognize that a video has been doctored, which can easily bypass scrutiny if the manipulation has been carried out subtly.

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