DEEPFAKE TECHNOLOGY (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     8th November 2023        
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Context: In a recently reported incident signaling the misuse of artificial intelligence to spread misinformation, a deepfake video of a TV actress has gone viral on the internet.

Deepfake Technology

  • About: It has been dubbed as the 21st century's answer to Photoshopping. Deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to make images of fake events, hence the name.
  • It is utilized for generating fake news and committing financial fraud, among other illicit activities.
  • It involves overlaying a digital composite onto pre-existing videos, images, or audio, with cybercriminals employing Artificial Intelligence technology.

How are they made?

  • The first known example of widespread use of a deepfake video was spotted on Reddit in 2017 when a user swapped the faces of celebrities.
  • These videos are created by machines that use deep learning algorithms. 
  • They scan through thousands of face shots using an AI algorithm (called encoder) that allows the machines to learn similarities between the two faces and reduces them to their shared common features, compressing the images in the process.
  • Misuse: Deepfake technology has been employed to mimic prominent figures such as former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and many others.