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Combatting Deep Fakes

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In the early days of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, President Zelenskyy warned the world that Russia’s digital disinformation machinery would create a deep fake of him admitting defeat. By mid-March of 2022, a deep fake of Zelenskyy appeared with just this message. This video was eventually debunked, but not before it spread across social media and appeared briefly on Ukrainian television. Three months later, the mayors of Berlin, Madrid, and Vienna collectively spoke for nearly 30 minutes with a deep-fake version of Kiev Mayor Klitschko, before realizing they were being duped. In addition to adding jet fuel to disinformation campaigns, this new breed of synthetic media also makes it easier to deny reality — the so-called liar’s dividend — as seen by the recent baseless claim that video addresses by President Biden are deep fakes deployed to conceal his death. I will discuss how deep fakes are made, how they are being weaponized, and how they can be detected.

About The Speaker

Prof. Hany Farid, University of California, Berkeley, USA

Dr. Hany Farid is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences and the School of Information. His research focuses on digital forensics, forensic science, misinformation, image analysis, and human perception. He received his undergraduate degree in Computer Science and Applied Mathematics from the University of Rochester in 1989, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Following a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, he joined the faculty at Dartmouth College in 1999 where he remained until 2019. He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

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