Deepfakes work thanks to face biometry authentication – a type of AI software «that uses the face/head of an individual via their facial biometric pattern to verify their identity by collecting the unique biometric data associated with their face and expression» (definition by Innovatrics).
The data obtained by the same type of software can be distorted to produce false images/videos matching those of a non-consenting individual, potentially resulting in harmful real-life consequences for that person.
The EU currently has the power to forbid the use of face biometry in the AI Act. To know more on how the AI Act can prevent the spread of deepfakes, you can read
this informative piece
we’ve prepared – with some input from ChatGPT. Or, you can also
What is a deepfake?
Deepfake is a term – a blend word, to be specific – that identifies digitally altered content (images, videos, audio recordings).
“Deep” stands for deep (machine) learning and “fake”… well, we all know what that means.
Deepfakes usually consist of hyper-realistic representations of people we’ll never get to meet in our everyday life, as they are the result of AI attaching, “gluing” together somebody’s face to somebody else’s body.
A viral trend
Faces are often chosen among politicians or celebrities, so that it’s easier for their deepfakes to get recognized online and eventually become viral.
Remember Keanu Reeves dancing in the total comfort of his home? Well, that wasn’t the Matrix’s star, but his deepfake alias, uploaded on Tik Tok by Metaphysic.ai co-founder Miles Fischer.
The “fun” part is when Internet users realize that they’ve been looking all the time at a fake version of their favorite movie star doing things he/she may have no intention to do in real life.
What’s wrong with deepfakes?
So yeah, deepfakes can be pretty cool. But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows when we look at the privacy aspect. Let’s see how.
Deepfakes-generating software is the same software used to carry out surveillance activity.
That’s because the source code that extracts and processes biometric data can be used in multiple ways – including for surveillance purpose.
Its unrestrained diffusion, with no regulation in place, can create a bunch of problems, among which massive disinformation and personal damage.
Imagine if the company that just hired you came across a deepfake of yourself shaking hands or hanging out with the CEO of their major competitor. How could they react? Your career would be at stake, event though every piece of context in the picture was fake (except for your face).