Here’s a challenge for all of you: do you think you can tell a fake face from a real one?
If your answer is yes then be prepared to have your confidence in face-spotting shattered.
Researchers over at the University of Washington have built a website called whichfaceisreal.com in which people can try a quiz on whether they can tell a computer-generated face from a real person’s face.
It sounds simple on paper but the reality is much more difficult because the computer-generated fakes are so realistic that you honestly can’t tell the difference.
Besides being a good little time-waster and people troller, the site’s creators, Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom, told Buzzfeed News that their goal is to help educate people on how to spot computer-created fakes.
Perhaps the bigger topic this fun little website highlights is the issue of harassment (especially towards women) and the spreading of disinformation using computer-generated images and videos.
Combine those convincing deepfakes of people with throwaway email addresses and you’ve got yourself a new online persona for terrible things like catfishing and counterfeiting opinions on important topics.
Bergstrom says this stuff is already happening, citing examples like the slew of fake comments regarding the net neutrality consultation process and Facebook recently removing over 1 billion fake profiles.
If you’re worried that your skill in spotting deepfakes is lacking, don’t worry because West and Bergstrom have some tips for you all.
The big indicators of a fake are imperfections like water splotches and asymmetries. Things like glass, teeth, backgrounds, and intricately detailed jewellery are difficult to render, so if the person in the image is wearing some fancy identical earrings, chances are that the person is real.
But worryingly, this deepfake detecting skill may be useless in a few years time when AI gets smart enough to smooth over all these imperfections.
Welp, time to get that bunker ready because it appears that Skynet’s plan for a global takeover is progressing faster than we thought.