Artificial intelligence and machine learning have been some of the most talked-about technologies in the last decade. There are several positive use cases (applications) of these technologies that advance how we live and work. However, these technologies are also being misused to create dangerous and undesirable products such as deepfakes.
A deepfake is an AI-generated video created to mislead the public or spread fake news and misinformation. For instance, one may create an AI-generated video using a public figure like Will Smith or Justin Bieber. If such a video is shared on social media, a significant number of people may not realize that it is fake.
So, why do people create deepfakes? Some common reasons for creating deepfakes include the following:
• Blackmailing the subject in the video
• Phishing data
• Social engineering, usually used by cybercriminals to get information from victims
• Spreading misinformation and propaganda, especially on political issues
• Financial fraud
• Used by Ponzi schemes to convince people to join them
• Election manipulation, and many more.
However, if you are aware about it, it’s not hard to spot a deepfake video. Here are some signs that you need to watch out for:
- They lack emotions: One of the first things you need to look out for is the characters’ facial expressions in the deepfake video. We are still lucky that AI hasn’t gotten good enough to simulate human emotions in real-time. For instance, if the character in the video does not seem to be sad while talking about a tragic event, that’s an obvious deepfake.
- Eyes movements are not natural: Another facial expression you need to look out for is the pattern of the character’s eye movements. By nature, we have a pattern with which we move our eyes while speaking. Characters in deepfakes usually don’t move their eyes in a natural way.
- Unnatural body movements: Take a look at the body movements of the character in the deep fake video. It is pretty easy to spot the difference between natural and made-up movements.
- Unnatural skin tones: Whether the character is white or black, make sure you carefully look at the skin to ensure it looks natural. AI hasn’t gotten good enough to create skin tones that are 100% identical to people’s natural ones.
- Hair looks plastic: Another aspect that you need to pay close attention to is the hair and its movements. Natural hair needs to move effortlessly, especially if the character is moving their head or outdoors.
- Audio and video are not synced: Most of the deepfakes’ creators spend more time on the video and forget to fully sync it with the audio. If you notice the lips of the character are not in sync with the words being said, then the chances of that video being a deep fake are high. Lip syncing is a challenging task, so most deepfakes creators do not have the skills to do it perfectly.
- Awkward facial positioning: By nature, the different parts of our face are aligned in a certain way and will uniformly expand or contract depending on the emotion at play. With deepfakes, you will often notice the non-uniform movement of the mouth, nose, and eyes. Just like lip-syncing, it is still difficult to sync the movement of all facial parts to make them move uniformly, so more deepfakes creators tend to ignore this aspect of the videos.
- Unnatural teeth: The teeth of the characters in the video typically have weird colours that do not look like the natural teeth colours we all know about.
- Unnatural look when the video is played in slow motion: Deepfakes videos are usually created using the average speed of human behaviour. However, when you slow the video down, it will be much easier to see the fake frames of images used to create it.
- Look at the lighting effects: Advanced digital cameras can easily isolate shadows and highlights in a video. However, it is really hard for an AI-generated video to simulate the shadows and highlights based on the lighting conditions in the video. So, when you look closely, it should be quite easy to spot the inconsistent pattern of shadows and highlights in the video.
- Watch the video on a big screen: At times, it is hard to spot some of the signs we have just watched on the small screens of our smartphones. However, when the video is stretched out on a large screen, it is much easier to see if it’s deepfake or not.
The secret to recognise deepfake videos is by looking out for unnatural patterns. If anything seems odd in the video, chances are the video was created using AI. If you suspect a video is deep fake, view it on a larger screen.
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