Social Media

Facebook, Microsoft launch contest to detect ‘deepfakes’

Reuters September 6 | Updated on September 06, 2019 Published on September 06, 2019

Facebook Inc is teaming up with Microsoft Corp, the partnership on AI coalition and academics from several universities to launch a contest to better detect deepfakes, the company said in a blog post.

The social media giant is putting $10 million into the ‘Deepfake Detection Challenge,’ which aims to spur detection research. As part of the project, Facebook is commissioning researchers to produce realistic deepfakes to create a data set for testing detection tools.

The company said the videos, which will be released in December, will feature paid actors and that no user data would be utilised.

In the run-up to the US presidential election in November 2020, social platforms have been under pressure to tackle the threat of deepfakes, which use AI to create hyper-realistic videos where a person appears to say or do something they did not.

While there has not been a well-crafted deepfake video with major political consequences in the US, the potential for a manipulated video to cause turmoil was recently demonstrated by a ‘cheapfake’ clip of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, manually slowed down to make her speech seem slurred.

In August, the Democratic National Committee demonstrated the threat from deepfake videos by creating one of its own Chairman Tom Perez, to make the audience at a hacker convention, Def Con, think the real Perez had Skyped into the conference. “They (deepfakes) lower the bar for an adversary that wants to create manipulated media,” said Matt Turek, who runs DARPA’s Media Forensics program.

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Published on September 06, 2019
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