Sci-tech

Microsoft Releases Deepfake Detection Tool Ahead of Election

Microsoft Releases Deepfake Detection Tool Ahead of Election”

These new pieces of technology were built by Microsoft Research and Microsoft Azure in partnership with the Defending Democracy Program.

Many would agree deepfake technology is both extremely interesting and potentially very risky.

Microsoft also announced Tuesday that it is partnering with the nonprofit AI Foundation to make the new video authentication software available to news outlets and political campaigns. In the age of fake news and misinformation, deepfakes - i.e. AI-generated, manipulated photos, videos, or audio files - could potentially be used to confuse and mislead people.

The first of these, the Microsoft Video Authenticator, analyses images and videos to give "a percentage chance, or confidence score, that the media is artificially manipulated", per a blog on Microsoft's official site.

"The rise of deepfakes as another form of impersonation, deception and manipulation requires that we either have to train people to get really good at detecting threats, or we have to rely on a layer of technology to detect them", Tim Sadler, CEO and co-founder of cybersecurity company Tessian, told Fox News. The objective of the tool is to defend democracy from threats fueled by disinformation. Microsoft stated that as time passes away, deepfakes would become more hard to be identified easily and for this, they have released this new tech so that no problem arises before the presidential election.

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US President Obama using his Black Berry in 2013
US President Obama using his Black Berry in 2013

The company has also had a hand in creating another technology that will power the aforementioned Project Origin.

This technology has two components.

The other includes technology helping creators add digital hashes and certificates to content made in Microsoft as well as a reader that can check those hashes and certificates.

With that aim, they are supporting a public service announcement campaign encouraging people to check whether information comes from a reputable news organization before they share it on social media, and have helped create and will promote the Spot the Deepfake Quiz, which should help US voters (and everybody else, really) to "learn about synthetic media, develop critical media literacy skills and gain awareness of the impact of synthetic media on democracy".

Everyone else, however, can check out this interactive quiz, called Spot the Deepfake, which Microsoft created with the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public, Sensity, and USA Today.

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