Here’s what ‘deep fakes’ are and why they matter

SALT LAKE CITY — After weeks of studying “deepfakes” — computer-generated videos that depict real people saying and doing things they never did — computer science professor Siwei Lyu noticed something eerie. Finally, he figured it out: while the characters looked and sounded like real people, they didn’t blink.

So others can spot imposters online, Lyu and his team at the University of Albany developed software earlier this year that detects natural eye movements in a video. He sees his work in “digital media forensics” as essential to helping people separate reality from fiction in a world where fake news spreads faster and wider than true news.

“The potential negative impact (of fake videos) at this point, far outweighs the benefits,” said Lyu. “People need to become more educated, more aware of the problem.”

Deepfake technology — orginially developed for communication, educational and entertainment applications — has since been exploited to put celebrities in pornographic scenes and experts worry the convincing videos could create broader damage by undermining political campaigns, scamming people and inciting violence. ..Read More..

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