Manoj Rupareliya is a Online Marketing Consultant and blogger.
Deepfake has become one of the most debatable phenomena in the tech industry. As this technology has introduced a crazy yet innovative concept in the market, it has become viral than ever.
With many leading television shows and podcasts promoting the use of it, Deepfake has gained the attention of the lay people also. While some are in favor of this technology, many tech experts are repelling the implementation. But why? What did Deepfake do that made many anxious and happy at the same time? Read further.
Deepfake is a combination of two words, "Deep Learning" and "Fake". It replaces the person's face from an image or a video to another person that looks like him/her. The audios, videos, and images made using Deepfake are getting viral on social media, especially on Facebook, after its Deepfake detection challenge.
Where users have to catch if the person in the video is original or is replaced by someone else, Facebook claims to run this campaign to negate the effect of Deepfake videos and stop this technology from doing any further damage. However, it is impressive how Deepfake works and covers the face of a person and efficiently replaces it with someone else's.
Using the concepts of deep learning, this technology is efficiently replacing the faces from the images or videos, and guessing the change is almost impossible because of the accuracy. It puts artificial intelligence and machine learning at work to generate excellent results.
Using the neural network architectures, Deepfake produces the results that are extraordinary and can trick the viewer's eyes. The neural network architectures like autoencoders or generative adversarial networks (GANs) targets to set the values equal and ultimately it produces an excellent copy that is a look-alike.
While it seems a fun activity, there are benefits of it that make this technology incredible to beat. However, as the coin has two sides, this technology is held responsible for any adverse effects that are not a good fit for today's world.
Artificial intelligence has introduced many new technological concepts that revolutionize the way things work. However, depending on the context a particular concept is used, they either remain constructive or destructive. And similarly, Deepfake has the advantage that allowed it to become popular all over the world.
Deepfake implementation through mobile apps became a reality when a Chinese app Zao implemented it for their customers. Using the app, users can easily swap their faces with their favorite celebrities over the videos and images and post them online. This app became viral in no time and attracted many to download it right away.
Moreover, these apps allowed users to create Deepfake videos in minutes that not only entertained users but turned into a grand opportunity for the publishers. However, the data privacy of users is put in question and Zao hit the headlines for the same.
Using Deepfake, only the face area below the forehead gets covered and swapped to create an exact impression. However, a Japanese company has succeeded in making a complete swap possible, from head to toe. This particular application lets you swap not only your face but gives you entire body-swapping support. This helps provide accurate body double images and videos.
But if we list down the disadvantages, these are the primary concerns why many people, including the world leaders, are in favor of putting a control on the use of this technology. Because of Deepfake's use in a negative context, it has become a headache for all. And scientists are trying to find solutions to this.
Disadvantages of Deepfake involves serious issues that directly affect society and pose a global threat. A technology developed keeping the best intentions in mind turned into a foe because of a simple context change. But how?
Political figures and celebrities are not happy with the results this technology is bringing up. As they are popularly known, and their data is widely available over different servers worldwide, it becomes very much easier to swap their faces pixel perfectly. Therefore, without AI, it becomes impossible to differentiate and find out whether a Deepfake video is there or not.
For example, using Deepfake videos, anyone can manipulate people, and it poses a threat to many superpower countries. A single Deepfake video swapping the face of a public figure and misleading them on the wrong path can break the entire game of this technology.
Not only limited to images and videos, but Deepfake has entered the audio streaming also where the audio of anyone can be tempered with a slight manipulation. As Deepfake allows expression changes according to users' wishes, the movement of face and mouth can be controlled efficiently. The software development around the world and universities are conducting research on this and exploring steps to clear out the confusion efficiently. But until then, it is almost impossible to catch Deepfake audio, and it actually can cause severe problems.
As mentioned earlier, audio Deepfake poses a significant threat that can allow for more threats and fraud occurrence. For example, a UK-based firm's CEO was tricked over the call when a fraudster asked him to transfer a huge amount to a Hungarian account and Deepfaked the voice of the firm's parent company's representative. However, the CEO didn't do it again as the fraudster asked again and again, but the CEO found out that no reimbursement occurred.
While Deepfake allows people to place their face on the celebrity's photos, the reverse is also possible. And it leads to generating some disturbing content that can encourage harm to their self-esteem. The same applies to politicians. The majority of these videos are created for laughs, but some of them are entirely inappropriate and intend to damage their image. Many of the women politicians suffer from the same issues as their Deepfake are made and become viral that are very difficult to differentiate from the original ones.
Because of all these problems caused by Deepfake, many researchers are opposing the use of it and are demanding to ban it. As the commercial use of Deepfake is no longer under control, the ultimate responsibility is ours to use this tech by keeping the right context in mind. Practicing what's best for not only us but for the entire society can lead to positive growth of Deepfake and create a positive image of its use.
The use of Deepfake depends on the context a user is using it for. Whether they do it with a good or a bad intention, the technology is going to be modified, and a better option will shortly get delivered in the market. Therefore, it ultimately depends upon us as we choose the context where we use the latest techs.
All these inventions are for making our lives better. However, without following the ethics and the right context to use them, all of us make a great mistake, and the one getting blamed is technology.
We should learn to use technology in the right manner and in the best of our interest to encourage the efforts of scientists who invent them for us. By keeping the best intentions in mind, Deepfake can provide excellent support for many things and turn out beneficial in many ways.