The Dark Side of DeepFakes Manipulation

In the world of cutting-edge AI technology, the real concern is: Can we still believe anything? Artificial intelligence works well in every sector of life, like health care, banking, education, and more. But deepfakes AI technology leaves us questioning how we can believe anything on the Internet that seems real, but is it or something else?

Deepfakes blur the boundaries between reality and online manipulation. The bad actors and revenge seekers used this technology for their bad deeds.

In this article, we dive deep into the world of deepfakes, their types and uses, their dark side, and their impacts on victims.

What are DeepFakes?

A Deepfake is manipulated software where cutting-edge AI (artificial intelligence) technologies are used to convert the appearance or voice of a person into images, videos, or audio recordings. The outcome is deceptively realistic content that is often difficult to differentiate from genuine items.

The term Deepfakes describes how the technology behind this form of exploiting media or fakes relies on deep learning tactics. On the part of Artificial Intelligence, deep learning is a branch of machine learning. Machine learning models utilize training datasets to learn how to perform specific tasks, enhancing training data to become more ultimate and robust. However, deep learning models work further and automatically identify the data features. It simplifies its classification or analysis at a deeper level.

The dataset typically included audio, text, images, and videos. AI-generated text shows another form of deepfakes that represents an increasing problem. While researchers have highlighted various vulnerabilities in deepfake, including images, videos, and audio that help in their detection, identifying deepfake text proves to be more challenging.

4 Types of DeepFakes

1. Face-swapping Deepfake:

This type of deepfake is known as one of the most widespread and easily recognizable forms. It cuts off the original face in a video or image and replaces it with another, and the outcome looks real and often shows a convincing transformation.

Recent instances include the spread of intimate and personal deepfakes of Taylor Swift on the platform Twitter, rebranded as X. This case represents the targeting of high-profile celebrities and industry leaders, often with evil intentions. Deepfaked content spreads far and wide on all social media networks, making it hard to trace, difficult to monitor, and even impossible to eliminate before the damage is done.

 The complicated method behind face-swapping deep fake videos includes multiple key steps:

  • Facial-recognition Algorithms: Deepfake makers use cutting-edge facial recognition algorithms to analyze and match the facial elements of both the source original and the targeted person. These algorithms identify vital facial features like eyes, noses, and mouths.
  • Machine Learning Models: Once the facial elements are identified, the machine learning models take the lead. These models go through immense training using vast datasets, allowing them to make lifelike facial expressions and movements that perfectly match the targeted person.
  • Political Manipulation: The apps of face-swapping deepfakes are diverse, serving both entertainment intentions and malicious purposes. Some prominent examples include political manipulation and deepfake videos that have been circulated to layover the faces of politicians onto unassociated individuals. It leads to the making of wrong stories or spreading mislead information.
  • Celebrity Impersonations: Some people create face-swapping deepfakes for entertainment, swapping their faces into music or movie videos, effectively pretending to be celebrities.

2.  Textual Deepfake

These types of deepfakes represent AI-driven technology experts in generating human-like written content, spanning blogs, poems, and articles. These technologies use cutting-edge NLP (natural language processing) and NLG (natural language generation) to analyze and generate text aligned with particular styles, keywords, topics, or tones. A prime instance of a textual deepfake system is ChatGPT-3, developed by OpenAI. GPT-3 is a text-generating tool capable of writing stories, news articles, poems, and responses that closely mimic human-written text.

Beyond just text creation, ChatGPT-3 demonstrates answering queries, writing code, and executing various tasks based on natural language input. While textual deepfakes find helpful applications in creative and educational sectors. Such as writing summaries, essays, articles, and novels, their misuse poses significant concerns. These advanced technologies can be used to circulate misleading information, such as fake news, propaganda, and phishing emails.

3. Voice-cloning DeepFake

While face-swapping is focused on visual misguiding, voice cloning deepfakes take the manipulation of audio content to a new level. It aims to misguide listeners by replicating the targeted person’s voice via training a model on their existing voice recordings. Voice cloning deepfake uses advanced algorithms and machine learning models to generate someone’s voice. There are 3 key techniques used in generating deceptive audio content, including:

  • Text-to-speech Synthesis: This involves converting written text into audio using artificial voices generated by machine learning models. Parameters like tone, pitch, emphasis, and intonations can be manipulated. It results in a fake voice closely resembling that of specific individuals.
  • Speaker Adaption Algorithms: These procedures analyze a target speaker’s unique vocal characteristics and modify a pre-existing model to copy their voice. Training the model on a dataset of the target speaker’s and verbal communication patterns, leasing deepfake can imitate their voice with great accuracy.
  • Tools for Voice Cloning Deep Fakes: It introduces noteworthy concerns, particularly in areas like impersonation and fraud. It leads to potential implications such as supporting illegal activities. Lyrebird and Deep Voice platforms allow users to generate voices based on a few minutes of recording. Based on deep neural networks, Lyrebird AI learns the attributes of a person’s voice and creates new audio based on it. While deepfake audio has some helpful benefits. Like communication and accessibility, translating languages, or generating audiobooks, the range of misapplication is wider.

4.  Live Deepfake

The most cutting-edge deepfake technology, live deepfakes, pushes the boundaries to exploit reality in real time via the integration of AI (Artificial Intelligence). These fake media use streaming technology and GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks) to create live videos, images, audio, or text. It dynamically responds to user input or environmental changes.

A prominent instance of live, deep fake technology is Neuralink, a progressive venture owned by Elon Musk in brain-computer interfaces. Neuralink envisions the crafting of implantable devices capable of establishing a direct connection between the human brains and computers. It facilitates immediate communication between the two.

Live deepfakes find implications in immersive and interactive domains like gaming, augmented reality, and virtual reality. It provides a potential avenue for enhancing user experiences. However, their expertise also raises concerns about possible misuse, including exerting control over people’s actions or manipulating their thoughts.

Content creators on YouTube have embraced the transformative potential of live deepfakes. For example, DeepFaceLive, open-source AI software, allows users to transform their facial appearance during live streams and videoconferences. This feature has gained a grip among streamers on Twitch. It provides broadcasters and developers across a multitude of media outputs a tool to explore the world of creative and engaging real-time content transformation.

The Dark Side of Deepfakes & Recent Victims

dark side of deepfakes
dark side of deepfakes

1.  Risk of Politician’s Creditability

Realistic deepfakes lead to enormous risks for politicians and fair elections. Many deepfakes have already circulated of high-profile politicians engaging in acts created to weaken their credibility. In March 2022, Russian hackers uploaded a fake video of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine. In the video he was telling his soldiers to surrender on Ukrainian outlets and social media. However, the video was quickly debunked. It reveals how technology is likely to become a prime stunt used by opponents to interfere in politics.

2.  Dangers for Women’s Dignity

While political deepfakes do cause a genuine danger to our democratic institutions, cutting-edge technology is currently primarily used to victimize women. A report by Deeptrace 2019 confirmed that 96% of all online deepfakes are actually non-consensual porn targeting women, and the number of these types of deepfakes is swiftly growing.

Sensity, the cybersecurity firm, reports the volume of deepfakes online approximately doubles every six months, largely due to the cheap and easy dark side of deepfakes technology availability. Deepnude, Deepswap, and FaceMagic are commonly used to generate deepfake porn. Scammers have even begun utilizing this technology in extortion cases, blackmailing to release the fake videos to victims’ families, friends, and employers unless they settle up.

3.   Nightmare for Celebrities

Having your resemblance stolen and used to perform demeaning sex acts without your consent is becoming a most embarrassing reality for celebrities and women in the public eye. A quick Google search shows multiple websites with hundreds of deepfakes porn videos swapping the face of celebrities. Like Gal Gadot, Jennifer Aniston, Ariana Grande, Emma Watson, and Maisey Williams, among many others.

According to Channel 4 News, nearly 4,000 celebrities were found to be victims of deepfake pornography. A recent investigation has found more than 250 British celebrities are among the 4,000 famous personalities who are victims of deepfake pornography. The team analyzed the five most visited deep fake websites and found approximately 4000 famous personalities listed. Including female actors, TV stars, musicians, and Youtubers, whose faces were superimposed on pornographic content using AI.

Moreover, Atrioc, a Twitch streamer, was forced to apologize after he accidentally said. “He used a website dedicated to sharing deep fake porn of famous female streamers, many of whom he is friends with in real life.”

4.   Non-Consensual Deepfakes of Women

On the Internet, there are websites specially designed for men to generate non-consensual deepfake porn videos of the women in their lives. While these sites are no longer publicly active, an anonymous user released an AI bot on Telegram. It quickly created thousands of deepfakes of women and teenage girls from images uploaded by men taking revenge. The investigation of Sensity found that this software was shared over 100,000 times before the bot was reported to the platform.

5. Threat of DeepFakes Porn Videos

Women who raise their voices against revenge porn are often the targets of constant online harassment. Kate Isaacs, a 30-year-old woman from the UK, was the victim of deepfake porn after she successfully campaigned Pornhub to delete approximately 10 million child porn or non-consensual videos.

After that, she was a victim of humiliating and terrifying harassment from men who felt they were granted non-consensual porn. They circulated her home and work addresses online and threatened to follow her, rape her, and then upload the video on Pornhub. Afterward, deep-fake porn videos of Kate began to spread online.

The Impacts on Victims of DeepFake 

The impacts of deepfakes on their victims can be destructive. Subjects could be wrongly portrayed in videos or audio files, causing reputation damage, phishing attacks, threats, and even legal consequences. When people lose trust in authentic information, victims struggle to set a clear record.

  • Damage Politician’s Reputation: Many realistic deepfakes are spread of high-profile politicians talking about something negative, which damages their trust and reputation among the public. Afterward, it is also difficult for powerful politicians to regain public trust and win elections.
  • Impacts on Companies Credibility: Businesses are also on the radar of deepfake advertising. Companies could become victims of deepfakes by crafting fake ad campaigns that represent the brand from a negative perspective. This scares away customers, partners, and even employees as a result of financial and reputational damage to the company.
  • Traumatized Individuals: Many victims of deepfake and revenge porn are threatening to close all their social media accounts and reduce their online presence to avoid further embarrassment and harassment. Remember, the men who seek to silence, while generating and sharing deepfake porn videos often do so under the First Amendment. The hazards of deepfakes are undeniable. But women have largely been left to care for themselves.

Final Thoughts

In this blog article, we have covered everything about deepfakes, how they work, and how this technology is used to manipulate innocent individuals. As we all know, images and videos take minutes to go viral, leaving us questioning about likeness, trust, and dignity.

However, in the world of social media, everyone posts their pictures and videos to create memories. However, some porn-addicted and illiterate men do not respect women and use this technology to fulfill their lust. So, It is better to protect yourself and your digital presence in the era of dark deepfakes.

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