What is Deepfake? How to do it and the risks associated with it
Deepfake has recently become a very popular topic on the web. What is it and what are its dangers? Everything you need to know about Deepfake can be found below.
What is Deepfake?
Deepfake is becoming more and more popular among people around the world. What is this? In short, it is a modern image processing technique supported by artificial intelligence. The very name of this method of editing videos consists of a combination of the words deep and fake. The first word refers to the so-called deep learning, i.e. innovative deep machine learning systems. In turn, the second term translated into Polish means false. Both parts of Deepfake’s phrase perfectly reflect the nature of the described specialty.
The standard definition, therefore, is that Deepfake is a bogus, fabricated video. Programs equipped with special mechanisms create such clips based on real sound files, photos and short recordings. With the help of the appropriate application, you can design your own Deepfake yourself. After the individual fragments are loaded, the process of combining them into one element begins. This creates a longer music video with a changed look and audio track.
Experienced specialists in the field of artificial intelligence can also use Deepfake technology for more complex tasks. They often use efficient devices to produce completely new, hitherto non-existent images. Thanks to this, they have a chance to generate faces of people who were never born. Deepfake is an extremely innovative, but also dangerous method of computer processing of photos and videos.
Examples of Deepfake movies
There are still videos on the web created with the help of special Deepfake design applications. In the past, there have been times when fake clips have shocked the public. This was the case, for example, in June 2019, when a video of Mark Zuckerberg sitting at a desk and giving a short speech was made public on the Internet. The founder of Facebook speaks in it about the data of portal users and the possibility of using sensitive information to control society.
At first, shocked people believed Zuckerberg’s words, but the interested person and media editing specialists quickly reported the fraud. The digital character, fabricated thanks to Deepfake technology, is deceptively similar to a world-famous entrepreneur, but it is not him. Modern computer programs are able to realistically modify an image, misleading millions of people.
An interesting example is the reworked scene of the popular series Game of Thrones published on the Eating Things. In the video, most of the details appear exactly as in the original. You can see the difference when you look at the mouth of the main character giving a speech to his friends. Converting primal lip movements into completely new facial expressions gives you the impression that the character is saying different words. In this way, Jon Snow, instead of encouraging his allies, apologizes to viewers for season 8, which has failed the fans.
In addition, you can find thousands of fabricated videos of celebrities, politicians and actors on the Internet. Deepfake videos very often show famous people singing songs. There are many clips on the web with Donald Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey in the lead roles. Their faces look realistic but are only digital manipulation.
How to make a Deepfake?
The rapid development of artificial intelligence means that today everyone has the opportunity to design their own Deepfake. How to make a modified media file at home? First, pay attention to the performance of your equipment. Creating Deepfakes requires a lot of computing power, so the processor must have a high clock frequency. In addition, the graphics card responsible for processing three-dimensional elements should be really strong.
The equipment aspect is important as the use of weaker devices does not guarantee good quality video. A deepfake generated with a PC set from a lower price range usually looks unrealistic. The fabricated facial expressions clearly indicate that the clip does not represent the real scene. If you want to code convincing videos, get effective components first.
Of course, hardware alone is not enough, because you still need the right application to create a successful Deepfake. You can download the program for processing images and recordings directly from the manufacturer’s website. There are tons of versions of the Deepfake app with different functions. The most recognizable and effective software include: DeepFaceLab, Deep Video Portraits or ZAO Deepfake App. Interestingly, some of them can also be found in editions compatible with smartphones.
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Python programs and libraries
Most video editing systems use Python libraries. Python works well with deep machine learning technology, which makes it realistic to use artificial intelligence engines to change the appearance of multimedia files. When it comes to Python-coded tools, it deserves attention first of all FaceSwap. This is a free environment for people who want to learn how to design their own clips.
In addition, for example, the Deep Art Effects, which is an ideal proposition for creative people. With its help, you can change a photo or a frame from a movie into a drawn image. It is also very popular REFACE, a program made for meme fans. Simple and intuitive operation allows for very quick creation of short gifs and funny photos.
Deepfake – fun or danger?
Huge interest in the subject of Deepfake technology arouses fascination on the one hand and fear on the other. Today, virtually anyone can fall victim to fabricated video material. Extremely realistic multimedia files present different situations and events in a different, false light, which often damages the reputation of people appearing in the recordings when viewers do not know that they are dealing with a fraud.
Hence the important question. Is the Deepfake culture that has developed on the Internet in the last few years just innocent fun or a serious danger? The easy availability of extensive movie modification programs allows even inexperienced laymen to generate fake clips. It only takes a little to destroy someone’s life with a simple application and a few previously obtained photos.
However, the fight against false recordings leads to nowhere. Deepfake technology is developing and spreading rapidly, reaching people all over the world. The fact is, the vast majority of people use Deepfake for entertainment purposes only. It remains to be hoped that fraudsters with malicious intent will still make up a handful, though using artificial intelligence for manipulation seems just inevitable. Even modern security systems do not yet protect against this.
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How Deepfake’s Algorithms Work
There are two ways to create fake videos. In the first one, the program works on the basis of two algorithms. First, the encoder comes in and looks for common features in different images. Then the decoder combines them and transfers them as a whole element to the modified photo. Thanks to this, the faces applied to the already filmed characters behave very realistically in terms of facial expressions. Applications based on the described procedure can change multimedia files while maintaining high quality.
The second method uses the so-called GAN, or Generative Adversarial Network. I am talking about an extensive network of machine learning structures cooperating with the generator and discriminator. These calculation schemes are responsible for forming the photo, using for this purpose general information without more details. This is how completely new, previously unrecorded clips are created. This process requires significantly higher computing power due to its complexity.
Recognizing a deepfake is very difficult, especially for laymen. This technology is great fun, but you should be careful not to fall victim to scams. From year to year, fake films seem more realistic and more effectively mislead all viewers, so it is difficult to say unequivocally the nature of the Deepfake design. At the moment, it seems to be just fun entertainment, but in the future it may pose an even greater danger to each of us.