Technology

what are deepakes?

Deepfakes are a type of disinformation which is manipulated information that aims to influence your opinion. To prevent this you can use tools and keep thinking critically. Learn here what a deepfake is and how to spot one.

Rather than just one technique there are various types of deepfakes. We can regard deepfakes as a collective name for audiovisual data altered by smart algorithms instead of manual labour.

We distinguish 3 types of deepfakes; FaceSwap, StyleGANs and Deep Puppetry.

Note that deepfakes can be made of all visual data. There are for example horse StyleGANs. However, we focus on human faces.

FaceSwaps

The face of the donor file is copied and pasted, it mimics the emotions and motions of the source file.

StyleGANs

Generated faces by a neural network that learned with a big dataset to create new unique faces.

Deep Puppetry

The person in the source file mimics the emotions and motions of the donor file.

How to detect deepfakes?

What can you do to protect yourself from being a victim of deepfakes or being influenced by them? Deepfakes are becoming better and  high quality deepfakes are becoming easier and cheaper to make. It consequently becomes harder to spot deepfakes with the naked eye. However, at this moment you can still look for several typical graphic inconsistencies (called artefacts) in deepfakes, the typical artefacts to look for are listed below.

Colour transition

In neural puppetry and faceswap deepfakes, the face is manipulated. Sometimes a hard colour transition can be seen on the edges of the area the deepfake software manipulated.

Unnatural looking eyes

Eyes are rather hard to deepfake due to the complexity. Check if the reflections in the eyes have the same angle. Does the person in the video blink? Are the irises of both eyes equally large?

Accessories

Items like glasses might look convincing at first, but, when looking a bit closer, might actually contain some artefacts.

Blurry and nonsensical context

StyleGAN deepfakes are good in making faces, but bad at creating context that makes sense. Check the background and clothing, for example, to see if these make any sense.

what else can yo do when you're in doubt

Think critically

Does the footage spark an emotional response for you? Disinformation often tends to influence your opinion and does frequently do so by sparking negative emotions regarding specific people. Do you react emotionally to the footage? Stay calm and check the information more closely. By thinking critically one could potentially question the footage on its authenticity.

Synthetic data & deepfakes

There are several fact checking websites like Snopes and Bellingcat that you can visit for free. For faceswap and neural puppetry deepfakes a source file is needed to create the deepfake. If in doubt, you can reverse image or video search the image or video. And, of course, you can always request a demo version of our online tool, DeepDetector!