The latest debate in the cryptocurrency sphere is Blockchain against Deepfake videos. Where many believe that blockchain can provide an effective solution against Deepfake.
In light of these occurrences, the truth becomes more and more relative each day. It is becoming difficult to infer the truth through one’s senses, and facts can be altered through various opinions and ideas.
Is there any democracy if everyone has their separate version of the truth? Humanity is met with another crisis.
What are Deepfake videos?
President Donald Trump, with his frequent use of the word, has popularised the term “fake news”. In the same manner, ‘Deepfakes’ are described as videos that appear to be quite realistic but are rather manipulated. Media is therefore met with a lot of skepticism for which the idea of the blockchain system aims to restore the loss of trust in individuals.
Deepfake, having been described as a “Photoshop job on steroids”, utilizes artificial intelligence. If sufficient data or footage of an individual or subject is available, an expert can easily manipulate the content. In this way, obliterating the true form and instead, falsifying it.
Implications of Deepfake videos
It is understanding the implications of Deepfakes and the potential problems that could arise due to Deepfakes, that a method of combat is essential. Extending to social implications, Deepfake could escalate large acts of violence against ethnicity and race, alter public opinions or even twist election results.
Alongside these, implications can also be personal ones with many reports of fake pornographic content of celebrities and the generation of “revenge porn”. Although the subreddit of the creator was banned on February 2018, the videos are still present in a public domain.
The ease of access to the software has increased the rate at which these Deepfakes are generated, labeled as “destabilizing technology”.
Roopa Kumar, speaking to media, compared Deepfake with nuclear technology. She mentioned that the prospect was similar to nuclear power; it could power homes, but it could also be used to kill millions. She stated that technology does not come with a moral code, but humans do. She also claimed that although Deepfakes can be used to create content for entertainment purposes, it could ruin the mere fabric of society.
Blockchain against Deepfake videos
Several startups including Ambervideo.co has been launched to target such content. Amber aims to detect and authenticate malicious recordings by making use of artificial intelligence software.
It trains its artificial intelligence (AI) to detect modifications and specified patterns in audio and visual tracks which may have been left behind.
Furthermore, to counteract the problem with the learning of past patterns, authentication technology using blockchain helps identify crypotographic fingerprint patterns, which are imprinted into a video as soon as it is recorded.
To implement the usage of these ideas in real life, enterprises such as Axon rely on blockchain technology to verify the validity of police bodycam videos.
Similarly, the Media Forensics program of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency alongside the Factom Protocol is aiming to develop technology and solutions to these problems.
Google has also spent over one hundred million dollars ($100M) in developing their systems (Content ID), by creating an algorithm which matches user-uploaded videos to registered videos. This aids to help counteract the problem of video encoding through cryptographically signed content as minor changes often nullify the signature present on the cloud from previously identified sources. Frost of Factom is quoted to have identified the need for an array of solutions in fighting Deepfakes.
Many hands have joined together to overcome the damage caused by Deepfakes, and to prevent further damage from occurring. Measures must be taken to thwart the rapid spread of information that Deepfakes cause. Some of these measures include developers and creators working on such technology to make their codes available online in order for them to be reviewed and checked by third-parties.
Strict supervision at the end of regulators must be implemented. Finally, and most importantly, the act of awareness is imperative when it comes to the masses. They must be up to speed with Deepfake technology and understand that evident information should, even with visual or auditory demonstrations must maintain a degree of skepticism.