‘Deepfake’ Videos Is The Newest Weapon In High-Tech Disinformation

Daily Beast: Inside the Deepfake ‘Arms Race’

Can countermeasures neutralize the coming wave of high-tech disinformation?

By late 2018, Ali Bongo, the president of Gabon in West Africa, hadn’t appeared in public for many months after reportedly suffering a stroke.

So it came as a surprise when a seemingly official video appeared online on New Year’s Day depicting Bongo, looking a bit disoriented, addressing the Gabonese people.

Bongo’s rivals declared the video to be a “deepfake”—a sophisticated digital forgery. Bongo was dead or incapacitated, the opposition declared. On Jan. 7, army officers launched an abortive coup.

Bongo wasn’t dead. And the video wasn’t a deepfake, just a weirdly-staged recording of an unwell man struggling to appear healthier than he apparently was. But the coup plotters were right about one thing. It’s entirely possible to fake a convincing video of a world leader… or anyone else, for that matter.


Update #1: ‘Deepfake’ technology sees dramatic rise (DW)
Update #2: Prepare for the Deepfake Era of Web Video (Wired)

WNU Editor: The tech has definitely improved in the past two years. It is only a question of time before this is perfected to the point that we cannot tell the difference from the real thing.

Author: Anchorman

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