Technology Microsoft Announces Video Authenticator to Identify Deepfakes

tom_mai78101

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Today, we’re announcing two new technologies to combat disinformation, new work to help educate the public about the problem, and partnerships to help advance these technologies and educational efforts quickly.

There is no question that disinformation is widespread. Research we supported from Professor Jacob Shapiro at Princeton, updated this month, cataloged 96 separate foreign influence campaigns targeting 30 countries between 2013 and 2019. These campaigns, carried out on social media, sought to defame notable people, persuade the public or polarize debates. While 26% of these campaigns targeted the U.S., other countries targeted include Armenia, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Taiwan, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Yemen. Some 93% of these campaigns included the creation of original content, 86% amplified pre-existing content and 74% distorted objectively verifiable facts. Recent reports also show that disinformation has been distributed about the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to deaths and hospitalizations of people seeking supposed cures that are actually dangerous.

What we’re announcing today is an important part of Microsoft’s Defending Democracy Program, which, in addition to fighting disinformation, helps to protect voting through ElectionGuard and helps secure campaigns and others involved in the democratic process through AccountGuard, Microsoft 365 for Campaigns and Election Security Advisors. It’s also part of a broader focus on protecting and promoting journalism as Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne discussed in their Top Ten Tech Policy Issues for the 2020s.

Disinformation comes in many forms, and no single technology will solve the challenge of helping people decipher what is true and accurate. At Microsoft, we’ve been working on two separate technologies to address different aspects of the problem.

One major issue is deepfakes, or synthetic media, which are photos, videos or audio files manipulated by artificial intelligence (AI) in hard-to-detect ways. They could appear to make people say things they didn’t or to be places they weren’t, and the fact that they’re generated by AI that can continue to learn makes it inevitable that they will beat conventional detection technology. However, in the short run, such as the upcoming U.S. election, advanced detection technologies can be a useful tool to help discerning users identify deepfakes.



Read more here. (Microsoft)
 
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