Microsoft creates a brand new device to identify ‘deepfake’ movies and pictures


Microsoft Corp. right this moment launched a brand new device designed to fight deepfakes.

Deepfakes are faked computer-manipulated photographs or movies which were altered in hard-to-detect methods to make somebody seem to have mentioned one thing they didn’t or appear like they had been in locations that they weren’t. They’re typically used to defame notable individuals, and their widespread use on the net has grow to be a rising concern, particularly with U.S. election campaigns now stepping into full swing.

The issue with deepfakes is that the know-how used to create them has more and more grow to be extra accessible and simpler to make use of. Many deepfakes could be extraordinarily real looking too, which makes them troublesome to establish, creating a chance for doubtlessly catastrophic meddling in politics and elections.

To fight deepfakes, Microsoft has launched a brand new “Microsoft Video Authenticator” device that it says can analyze photographs and movies to supply a “confidence score” about whether or not or not it has been manipulated. The device will alert customers if the picture is prone to be pretend, or reassure them that it’s genuine.

The Microsoft Video Authenticator has two elements, together with a device constructed on Microsoft Azure that permits content material producers so as to add digital hashes and certificates to their photographs that exist as metadata wherever it seems on-line. There’s additionally a reader, which might exist as a browser extension or one thing else, that may examine the certificates and match the hashes to confirm if a picture is actual. This lets individuals know with a “high degree of accuracy” {that a} sure picture is genuine and hasn’t been modified, Microsoft mentioned.

“Disinformation comes in many forms, and no single technology will solve the challenge of helping people decipher what is true and accurate,” Microsoft’s Tom Burt, company vice chairman of buyer safety and belief, and chief Scientific Officer Eric Horvitz wrote in a weblog publish. “The fact that they [the deepfakes] are generated by AI that can continue to learn makes it inevitable that they will beat conventional detection technology. However, in the short run, such as the upcoming U.S. election, advanced detection technologies can be a useful tool to help discerning users identify deepfakes.”

Relating to innovation there are all the time unhealthy guys that try to abuse new applied sciences, whereas the nice guys attempt to give you methods to struggle that abuse, Constellation Analysis Inc. analyst Holger Mueller advised SiliconANGLE.

“Microsoft is trying to battle deepfakes with new technology, but its new tool requires using Microsoft Azure,” Mueller mentioned. “That dependency may be good news for some, but it certainly won’t be good news for all. Expect other infrastructure-as-a-service vendors or ‘good guys’ to throw their hats in the ring. With the upcoming U.S. elections. there is certainly a key event ahead.”

Microsoft mentioned the brand new device is a part of its Defending Democracy Program, which is an initiative that goals to struggle disinformation, defend voting and safe election campaigns.

Picture: Microsoft

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