By now I’m sure you’ve heard about Deep Fake videos. They’re edited with artificial intelligence software to manipulate a person’s face or voice, changing the message and sometimes who they appear to be entirely. And they’re really, really good.
Want to see it for yourself? Check out this funny video of Saturday Night Live cast member Bill Hader use the technology to turn himself into Tom Cruise and Seth Rogan
In his recent blog, my friend cyber security expert John Sileo says that when we can’t tell fact from fiction ‘there are multiple risks, including to national security: What if our enemies post a video of President Trump saying he’s just launched nuclear weapons at Russia or North Korea?
The business community and financial markets may also be targeted. A video of Jeff Bezos warning of low quarterly Amazon results could cause a sell-off of Amazon stock, for instance. Bezos has the platform to quickly respond, but by the time he’s corrected the record, real damage could be done. Similarly, CEOs of lesser-known companies could be targeted, say the night before an IPO or new product launch.
His question to me is this: Is anything different in their body language? Can you tell these videos are fakes?
When I do analysis, I look for how body language, tone and words match up. I looked at lots of deep fake videos and here’s what I saw:
Many videos were really, really good. I didn’t see anything that would give away that it’s a fake. The Bill Hader video above was one of those.
I also couldn’t see any discrepancies in the infamous Nancy Pelosi video. All they did was slow her down a bit and that made her appear like she was drunk.
But some of them I could tell. The ones where audio was dubbed in seemed to stump the software and it didn’t get their lip movements quite right. Check out this deep fake video of President Obama.
So what’s this mean to you? This technology is getting better and better. No matter how good you are at reading body language, pretty soon we won’t be able to believe what we see at all. When you want to know the truth you need to make sure to check the source of the video. Right now the big 3 networks while they do slant to the left do a good job of fact checking and are usually filming important events filming first hand. If you have doubts about if a video is fake or not, check multiple sources before making any decisions based on them.
As with detecting any deception, you always want multiple signs that point to your conclusion. We just got assigned homework on a whole new level. Here’s to staying above it all and keeping ourselves focused on the truth.