What does deepfake mean

Deepfake meaning consists of two parts: deep learning (one of the machine learning technologies) + fake. The very definition implies that AI uses special algorithms to forge someone’s appearance and voice.

We will not go deep into dull technical details. The idea is that a smart program analyzes sample photos and videos of a person and on that base can "predict" his or her mimics and movements. Quite often this technology is used to replace an initial person in the video with someone else.

Deepfake AI technology

Deepfake examples

This technology was developed as a way of entertainment. For example, MyHeritage deepfake algorithm animates deceased relatives and ancestors, and turns old photos into short videos, as newspapers in the world of Harry Potter.

Another example — FaceApp application. A couple of years ago, there was a common craze: social media were full of avatars turned to another race, sex, age, etc., people kept swapping faces with their friends and even pets. All those mini-games and filters are also based on deepfake technology.

Deepfake vs real detection

Other cases of deepfake usage, unfortunately, are not so innocent. These algorithms are used to issue fake videos with celebrities and politicians, to hype society and start scandals. Deepfake may also be a means of revenge or setting someone up.

That’s why, even if this AI technology is not proclaimed illegal yet, it’s still necessary to be able to recognize it and tell the truth from fraud.

Deepfake detection

Misuse of deepfake technologies may lead to a threat to democracy, violation of human rights, and social unrest. Unfortunately, AI tends to evolve and deepfake videos may look very realistic. Though, there are some ways to detect them.

  1. Blinking. Deepfake "humans" would blink a way too often or seldom. Unnatural blinking is one of the most solid signs of fraud.
  2. Blurred or too smooth skin.
  3. Unnatural light and shadows.
  4. Unsynchronized speech and lips movements.

However tempting it may seem to use such a complicated and appealing technology, we’d recommend more traditional video editing tools. There is no need to forge someone’s likeness to get an artistic recording.