AI News, BOOK REVIEW: Adam Fisher (@SageAdamFi)


Deepfakes (a portmanteau of 'deep learning' and 'fake'[1]) are media that take a person in an existing image or video and replace them with someone else's likeness using artificial neural networks.[2]

They often combine and superimpose existing media onto source media using machine learning techniques known as autoencoders and generative adversarial networks (GANs).[3][4]

Deepfakes have garnered widespread attention for their uses in celebrity pornographic videos, revenge porn, fake news, hoaxes, and financial fraud.[5][6][7][8]

The development of deepfakes has taken place to a large extent in two settings: research at academic institutions and development by amateurs in online communities.[11][12]

An early landmark project was the Video Rewrite program, published in 1997, which modified existing video footage of a person speaking to depict that person mouthing the words contained in a different audio track.[14]

It was the first system to fully automate this kind of facial reanimation, and it did so using machine learning techniques to make connections between the sounds produced by a video's subject and the shape of the subject's face.[14]

The “Synthesizing Obama” program, published in 2017, modifies video footage of former president Barack Obama to depict him mouthing the words contained in a separate audio track.[15]

The Face2Face program, published in 2016, modifies video footage of a person's face to depict them mimicking the facial expressions of another person in real time.[16]

The project lists as a main research contribution the first method for re-enacting facial expressions in real time using a camera that does not capture depth, making it possible for the technique to be performed using common consumer cameras.[16]

In August 2018, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley published a paper introducing a fake dancing app that can create the impression of masterful dancing ability using AI.[17][18]

Other online communities remain, including Reddit communities that do not share pornography, such as r/SFWdeepfakes (short for 'safe for work deepfakes'), in which community members share deepfakes depicting celebrities, politicians, and others in non-pornographic scenarios.[20]

In June 2019, a downloadable Windows and Linux application called DeepNude was released which used neural networks, specifically generative adversarial networks, to remove clothing from images of women.

Deepfakes have begun to see use in popular social media platforms, notably through Zao, a Chinese deepfake app that allows users to substitute their own faces onto those of characters in scenes from films and television shows such as Romeo+Juliet and Game of Thrones.[51]

The app originally faced scrutiny over its invasive user data and privacy policy, after which the company put out a statement claiming it would revise the policy.[52]

In 2019, a U.K.-based energy firm’s CEO was scammed over the phone when he was ordered to transfer €220,000 into a Hungarian bank account by an individual who used audio deepfake technology to impersonate the voice of the firm's parent company's chief executive.[54]

The perpetrator reportedly called three times and requested a second payment but was turned down when the CEO realized the phone number of the caller was Austrian and that the money was not being reimbursed as he was told it would be.[54]

Similarly, computer science associate professor Hao Li of the University of Southern California states that deepfakes created for malicious use, such as fake news, will be even more harmful if nothing is done to spread awareness of deepfake technology.[55]

Li predicts that genuine videos and deepfakes will become indistinguishable in as soon as half a year, as of October 2019, due to rapid advancement in artificial intelligence and computer graphics.[55]

In September 2018, Google added 'involuntary synthetic pornographic imagery” to its ban list, allowing anyone to request the block of results showing their fake nudes.[71]

730 prohibits the distribution of malicious deepfake audio or visual media targeting a candidate running for public office within 60 days of their election.[78]

Its plot revolves around digitally enhanced or digitally generated videos produced by skilled hackers serving unscrupulous lawyers and political figures.[82]

Jack Wodhams calls such fabricated videos picaper or mimepic—image animation based on 'the information from the presented image, and copied through choices from an infinite number of variables that a program might supply'.[82]

In the 1992 techno-thriller A Philosophical Investigation by Philip Kerr, 'Wittgenstein', the main character and a serial killer, makes use of both a software similar to Deepfake and a virtual reality suit for having sex with an avatar of the female police lieutenant Isadora 'Jake' Jakowicz assigned to catch him.[83]

The Customer is Always Right

I’ll let that sink in for a minute.  This company is in the business of providing its customers with hearing through their products, the cochlear implant processors.  Evidently they did not consider the customer experience for when a product breaks, leaving the customer without access to sound.  This was not even five years ago when it happened.

For example, just because I am deaf does not mean American Sign Language is my preferred method of communication or that I am fluent in this visual language.  But we can encourage our clients to offer a broad range of contact us options and to also be consistent.  As an example, a site may include a chatbot.

one is powered by AI and may lead a user to a support site filtered down to a support issue resolution, and the other may be a human on the other side as a customer service representative.  The danger to the first option is the user isn’t immediately aware of which ‘type’ of Chatbot they will be interacting with until the first few exchanges.

Would you like me to call support for you?” As a deaf user who may not prefer the telephone, they are misled down what started off promising as an accessible experience, to a “dead end” that cuts off the support experience due to inaccessible options.  A

If it starts off with AI, and the “end” requires a human, provide that even if it’s offering both a human behind a telephone number or continuing in the chat window with an actual human picking up the conversation.  Offering users with the option of submitting a written inquiry via a message form, or an email is also a great way to increase the accessibility of customer service.  Canned should responses be automated upon receipt, to ensure that further inquiry options are accessible.

It shouldn’t be an option (or preference) pushed upon them.  The frequent customer service slogan, “The customer is always right.” goes beyond a service or merchandise dispute, but that it also includes broadening the communication pathways.

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