deep fake: definition
What are “deepfakes?”
That’s the nickname given to computer-created artificial videos or other digital material in which images are combined to create new footage that depicts events that never actually happened. The term originates from the online message board Reddit.
One initial use of the fake videos was in amateur-created pornography, in which the faces of famous Hollywood actresses were digitally placed onto that of other performers to make it appear as though the stars themselves were performing.
How difficult is it to create fake media?
It can be done with specialized software, experts say, the same way that editing programs such as Photoshop have made it simpler to manipulate still images. And specialized software itself isn’t necessary for what have been dubbed “shallow fakes” or “cheap fakes.”
Researchers also say they are working on new ways to speed up systems aimed at helping establish when video or audio has been manipulated. But it’s been called a “cat and mouse” game in which there may seldom be exact parity between fabrication and detection.
At least one state has considered legislation that would outlaw distributing election-oriented fake videos.
more on fake news in this IMS blog
more on #fakenews and audio/video in this this IMS blog
Computer Scientists Demonstrate The Potential For Faking Video
As a team out of the University of Washington explains in a new paper titled “Synthesizing Obama: Learning Lip Sync from Audio,” they’ve made several fake videos of Obama.
Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet
Generating convincing audio and video of fake events, July 1, 2017
took only a few days to create the clip on a desktop computer using a generative adversarial network (GAN), a type of machine-learning algorithm.
Faith in written information is under attack in some quarters by the spread of what is loosely known as “fake news”. But images and sound recordings retain for many an inherent trustworthiness. GANs are part of a technological wave that threatens this credibility.
Amnesty International is already grappling with some of these issues. Its Citizen Evidence Lab verifies videos and images of alleged human-rights abuses. It uses Google Earth to examine background landscapes and to test whether a video or image was captured when and where it claims. It uses Wolfram Alpha, a search engine, to cross-reference historical weather conditions against those claimed in the video. Amnesty’s work mostly catches old videos that are being labelled as a new atrocity, but it will have to watch out for generated video, too. Cryptography could also help to verify that content has come from a trusted organisation. Media could be signed with a unique key that only the signing organisation—or the originating device—possesses.
more on fake news in this IMS blog
IT’S THE (DEMOCRACY-POISONING) GOLDEN AGE OF FREE SPEECH
Jan 16, 2018
My note: the author uses the 1960 military junta in Turkey as an example. Here it is the 2014 “modern” ideological fight of increasingly becoming dictatorial Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan against his citizens by shutting off Twitter: http://time.com/33393/turkey-recep-tayyip-erdogan-twitter/
Here is more on civil disobedience and social media: http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims?s=civil+disobedience
until recently, broadcasting and publishing were difficult and expensive affairs, their infrastructures riddled with bottlenecks and concentrated in a few hands.
When protests broke out in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, a single livestreamer named Mustafa Hussein reportedly garnered an audience comparable in size to CNN’s for a short while. If a Bosnian Croat war criminal drinks poison in a courtroom, all of Twitter knows about it in minutes.
In today’s networked environment, when anyone can broadcast live or post their thoughts to a social network, it would seem that censorship ought to be impossible. This should be the golden age of free speech.
And sure, it is a golden age of free speech—if you can believe your lying eyes. Is that footage you’re watching real? Was it really filmed where and when it says it was? Is it being shared by alt-right trolls or a swarm of Russian bots?
My note: see the ability to create fake audio and video footage:
HERE’S HOW THIS golden age of speech actually works: In the 21st century, the capacity to spread ideas and reach an audience is no longer limited by access to expensive, centralized broadcasting infrastructure. It’s limited instead by one’s ability to garner and distribute attention. And right now, the flow of the world’s attention is structured, to a vast and overwhelming degree, by just a few digital platforms: Facebook, Google (which owns YouTube), and, to a lesser extent, Twitter.
at their core, their business is mundane: They’re ad brokers
They use massive surveillance of our behavior, online and off, to generate increasingly accurate, automated predictions of what advertisements we are most susceptible to and what content will keep us clicking, tapping, and scrolling down a bottomless feed.
in reality, posts are targeted and delivered privately, screen by screen by screen. Today’s phantom public sphere has been fragmented and submerged into billions of individual capillaries. Yes, mass discourse has become far easier for everyone to participate in—but it has simultaneously become a set of private conversations happening behind your back. Behind everyone’s backs.
It’s important to realize that, in using these dark posts, the Trump campaign wasn’t deviantly weaponizing an innocent tool. It was simply using Facebook exactly as it was designed to be used. The campaign did it cheaply, with Facebook staffers assisting right there in the office, as the tech company does for most large advertisers and political campaigns.
more on privacy in this IMS blog
more on free speech in this IMS blog