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While the capability to paste up, cut and create images of people and place them in locations they never were at, or with people they never knew or even associated with; is not new and has been celebrated in entertainment for decades-remember the many "mock up" scenes in the film, Forrest Gump for example-(see photo above); sophisticated tech tools morphing visual and audio are now readily available to create entirely new "mash ups" of people and situations and post these online. This capability is propelling fiction creation and psyops to a cloud and dark net nightmare. Some of these "deep fake" videos are very difficult to discern from the "real" people and the actual events and/or news.
Some of you might say, "Why does this matter to me?" This week I write about a few scenarios which may nudge you to pause and reflect and possibly give you some strategies to identify the deep fakes, mash ups and AI clones online. I highlight a number of programs which you may not be aware of but which could involve you, your family members or friends and link you in "profiles" that could be detrimental to you now, or later - if you are ignorant of their agendas.
"Advances in machine-learning and A.I have now made it possible to swap someone else’s face and voice into a video, and make it look like they did or said something….anything you want. These videos and photos are called deepfakes, and they’re getting more sophisticated by the day. The technology harnesses machine-learning techniques – feeding a computer real data about images so it can create the fake". www.nbcnews.com/mach/video/deep-fakes-how-they-are-made-and-how-they-can-be-detected-1354417219989 and they’re getting more f
There is utility in deepfakes for countries and for companies. Consider these two possibilities:
"This is much more than a photo shopped meme or a fake news story. With deepfake videos, algorithms are used to recognize actual audio or visual aspects of a person and then, just as with a fake photo, an actual video of that person is doctored to replace what they really said or did with a false video clip that perfectly mimics them. It's nearly impossible to know that the video isn't real. The threat even led the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) at the Pentagon to embark upon a Media Forensics project to identify deepfakes and other deceptive images." www.techrepublic.com/article/why-deepfakes-are-a-real-threat-to-elections-and-society/
Along with this new use of technology are new words and jargon. "Morphporn" is sadly on the rise. Morphporn refers to a video or set of images which is manufactured by inserting one face/head and movements of one person onto a pornographic set of images or film, re-titling it and posting it online. Unfortunately the USA still does not have laws against this form of identity theft, stalking and slander. However, one victim bravely fought for legislation criminalizing this practice in Australia so now law enforcement can receive resources and funds to catch the perpetrators, charge them, expose them...and in some cases-send them to jail. Watch the video below for more information on these processes and the case of Noelle Martin of NSW, Australia. We need to criminalize these acts in the USA, and internationally. Net providers, search engine companies and social media platforms need to be included as part of the solution, in order to be most effective in law/IT/cyber crime investigation and penalties.
Deepfake Videos Are Getting Real and That’s a Problem | Moving Upstream
Up until 2017, it took an average of 2,000 images from different angles to construct a deepfake facial of someone. However as of 2019, it only takes about 300 images and soon it will be less. Most people who have some social media presence (especially on facebook and instagram) for over a year, will have at least 300 images of themselves easily accessible online. Anyone with a few minutes of themselves on youtube (especially full body with movements) will have provided all the material necessary for an amateur with the right apps and technical skills (they can find on youtube for free) to "morphporn" you and worse.
Consider completely deleting as many of the photos of you on social media/online as you can, and delete those of your loved ones. (see last week's post for simple instructions-www.jopatti.com/blog/go-aheadunhook ) There are some nasty people out there with too much time on their hands who can do this with impunity in the USA and most other countries. There are currently no laws against posting on the dark net - FYI.
If you want more information look up Generational Adversarial Networks (GANs) and go from there. This week I will add a music video of "The Sound of Music" as you have never seen it before and a "mashup" from the site called: "Derpfakes", which may bring a smile on your face from the last day in the Land of Smiles. Enjoy and remember...don't always believe your own eyes and ears...triangulate information sources, if at all possible.
Oh, Happy Chinese New Year! This is the Chinese Year of the Pig...or to be more specific...the Yin Earth Pig or Boar. Fireworks and firecrackers can be heard at all hours of the day and night here. Guess Islamic countries will not be advertising this news.
If you do not know your Chinese astrological sign there is a calculator by year, on the site linked below, to find your two signs: animal and element. I (for example) am a Water Snake. Each sign has specific characteristics and predictions. The "predictions and warnings" are taken quite seriously by many in China, and an in depth study (not just pop online sites) by monks and adepts is respected in the East and even used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for diagnosis, supporting observations about patients, and prognosis. I have found it and "Stems and Branches", quite useful at times and impressively accurate. Click on the link below for a cursory introduction to the Chinese astrological system. You might find some of the descriptions to be right on the mark...spot on.
May you and your loved ones experience good health, joy and unity in the year ahead and may you all remain vigilant and alert.
From the East to you,