What Is Deepfake And How Does It Work?
Examples of Deepfakes

What Is Deepfake And How Does It Work?

Deepfake is a process of producing or altering video or image content so that it presents something that it didn’t originally contain. It uses AI-based technology.


It typically refers to a video that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in an original video with someone else (especially a public figure). This is done in a way that makes the video look authentic.


Examples of Deepfake Image Manipulations. Picture: Witness


The App took its name after a Reddit user known as deepfakes.


In December 2017, the user used deep learning technology to edit the faces of celebrities onto people in pornographic video clips. The term applies to both the technologies and the media of its manipulation.


Deepfake media is made up of two competing AI systems. These are the generator and the discriminator. The generator creates a fake video clip and then the discriminator determines whether the clip is real or fake.


The discriminator identifies an accurately faked video clip. Then it provides the generator insight about what not to do when creating the next clip.


Together, the generator and discriminator form something called a generative adversarial network (GAN). The first step in forming a GAN is to identify the desired output and create a training dataset for the generator. Once the generator begins creating an acceptable level of output, video clips can be fed to the discriminator.

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Deepfakes Modern Equivalent Of Nuclear Weapons

As the generator gets better at creating fake video clips and images, the discriminator gets better at spotting them. Conversely, as the discriminator gets better at spotting fake video, the generator gets better at creating them.


Until the beginning of Deepfakes, video content was much more difficult to alter in any meaningful way. However, because it uses AI it doesn’t require the considerable skill that it would take to create a more realistic video.


This means that just about anyone can create a Deepfake to promote their chosen agenda quite sadly. One big danger is that people believe them at a glance; another is that people will no longer trust any video content at all.


Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida and 2016 presidential candidate, called them the modern equivalent of nuclear weapons.


“In the old days, if you wanted to threaten the United States,” he told an audience in Washington a couple of weeks ago “you needed 10 aircraft carriers, and nuclear weapons, and long-range missiles.


Today, you just need access to our internet system, to our banking system, to our electrical grid and infrastructure, and increasingly, all you need is the ability to produce a very realistic fake video that could undermine our elections, that could throw our country into tremendous crisis internally and weaken us deeply.”


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Kolawole Awolope

Passionate about talking, passionate about talking tech.

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