Deepfake Technology

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • With improvements in technology related to artificial intelligence (AI), deepfakes are becoming common on the internet which include pictures, audio or videos.

About Deepfake Technology

  • A combination of AI and machine learning used to manipulate or generate visual and audio content with a high potential to deceive.
  • It is part of deep synthesis, utilizing AI to create realistic text, images, audio, and video.

Applications and Misuse:

  • Deepfakes are used for generating fake news, committing financial fraud, and more.
  • They manipulate existing content with AI to create convincing forgeries.
  • Machine learning algorithms make deepfakes more sophisticated than older photo-editing techniques.
  • Used to create false portrayals of political figures and fabricate events.


Positive Uses of Deep Learning:

  • Restoring voices, recreating historical figures for educational purposes.
  • Enhancing creativity in art, comedy, cinema, and gaming.


Ethical and Social Implications:

  • In cases like revenge porn, deepfakes pose significant ethical issues.
  • They make distinguishing between real and fake media content difficult.
  • The spread of false information can lead to social and political turmoil.


India’s Stance on Deepfakes:

  • India currently lacks laws specifically addressing deepfakes.
  • Sections of the Information Technology (IT) Act and Indian Penal Code (IPC) that deal with defamation and explicit content may apply.
  • Further, the Personal Data Protection Bill may offer indirect protections.


International Responses:

  • European Union: Updated the Code of Practice on Disinformation to combat deepfake spread.
  • United States: The Deepfake Task Force Act helps Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to fight deepfake technology.
  • China: Comprehensive regulations demand labelling, traceability, consent, and adherence to moral standards.


Strategies for Combating Deepfakes:

  • AI Fact-Checking: Social Media should utilize AI for identifying and flagging deepfakes.
  • Blockchain Verification: Implement blockchain to record digital media’s creation and edits for authenticity.
  • Deepfake Mitigation Fund: Financial support for those affected by deepfakes.
  • Legislative Actions: Introduction of Deepfake Accountability Acts to enforce responsible creation and distribution.
  • Punitive Measures & Education: Laws to punish misuse and campaigns to raise public awareness on deepfakes.


Identifying ‘Deepfake’ Videos

·       Deepfakes may show irregular eye movements or gaze patterns that do not align with the overall body language or spoken words.

·       Look for inconsistencies in colour tones and lighting on the subject’s face compared to the environment which could indicate manipulation.

·       Compare the audio with visual elements; AI-generated audio might contain subtle flaws that reveal it is not authentic.

·       Distorted or unnatural body movements, or incorrect limb proportions, can be a sign of a deepfake.

·       Watch for facial expressions that are exaggerated, poorly synced with speech, or otherwise out of context.

·       Distortions or misplacements of facial features might signal the video has been altered.

·       Unusual body positions or movements that seem implausible or awkward could be evidence of a deepfake video.

·       Use a screenshot of the video and run a reverse image search (e.g., via Google Images) to find the source or verify the original content.

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