Data & Society: Deepfakes and Cheap Fakes

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Data & Society, a nonprofit research institute, released Deepfakes and Cheap Fakes. “A “deepfake” is a video that has been altered through some form of machine learning to ‘hybridize or generate human bodies and faces,’ whereas a ‘cheap fake’ is an AV manipulation created with cheaper, more accessible software (or, none at all). Cheap fakes can be rendered through Photoshop, lookalikes, re-contextualizing footage, speeding, or slowing.”

“Thanks to social media, both kinds of AV manipulation can now be spread at unprecedented speeds.” In July, public broadcaster KQED published an article to create awareness, challenging its readers to recognize deepfakes.

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Read the synopsis and download the report

Why it matters

Deepfakes and cheap fakes have increasingly become part of political disinformation campaigns and can be seen as digital piracy if they use third-party content without permission the content owner or rights holder; unless the producer of the deepfake is itself the provider of the original content.

Imagine that your content has been used to propagate a campaign that damages your brand or your personal reputation, and you can see the impact. What would it take to repair them? How do you detect it in the first place?

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