Alarming Advances Made In Digital Media Manipulation

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Forget the idea of “seeing is believing.” New technology is making digital media manipulation easier than ever.

The result? Phony videos that are popping up across the web.

One video making the rounds is of former-President Barack Obama delivering a speech that he never actually made. It’s part of a video trend circulating the internet called Deepfake, which has made it tougher to tell what’s real and what’s not.

“It’s very concerning because as people get better with this software we’re able to not just use celebrities, they’re able to use a neighbor in a video and compromise that person,” FITECH Senior Vice President Duarte Pereira said.

Pereira says in recent months, the videos started appearing on Reddit. They’re created by a program called Fake App, which superimposes videos of one person’s face on another person’s body.

“The way they do it is they identify things in your face like your eyebrows, nose as they break your face down into smaller pieces,” tech expert Ram Jayaraman said.

Until recently, the artificial intelligence video technology was only used by major Hollywood productions. Social media apps like Snapchat have made the face-morphing technology all too easy to obtain.

Experts are worried it could have serious moral implications, like framing people for crimes or putting celebrities’ faces on pornographic performers.

There’s also concern the technology could be used to circulate fake news and smear politicians.

Reddit took steps to ban a number of Deepfake groups that had tens of thousands of members, but experts say people are still accessing the tool on the dark web.

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