Fake news could be bolstered by new up-and-coming technologies

Editorial / Tech
fake news

Up-and-coming technology could bring with it a bolstering of fake news stories.

Fake news on the internet is a real concern for those seeking to be informed of current events, topics, and trends. Google has even launched its own fight against fake news in hopes of curbing misinformation among the masses. While search engines do display a good portion of fake news on the internet, social media outlets are far more likely to house such stories. While companies are being proactive about flagging and identifying fake news, technology may be preparing to bolster up the practice with significant and impressive results.

Face2Face is a company that can manipulate real-time YouTube videos making a target face appear as if they are moving in ways they are not. Pair this technology with that of Adobe’s recent announcement of VoCo and you could have the tools made for those seeking to spread misinformation. Watch the two videos below for a demonstration of how Face2Face and VoCo work. In fairness, Face2Face’s disclaimer is included below.

This demo video is purely research-focused and we would like to clarify the goals and intent of our work. Our aim is to demonstrate the capabilities of modern computer vision and graphics technology, and convey it in an approachable and fun way. We want to emphasize that computer-generated videos have been part in feature-film movies for over 30 years. Virtually every high-end movie production contains a significant percentage of synthetically-generated content (from Lord of the Rings to Benjamin Button). These results are hard to distinguish from reality and it often goes unnoticed that the content is not real. The novelty and contribution of our work is that we can edit pre-recorded videos in real-time on a commodity PC. Please also note that our efforts include the detection of edits in video footage in order to verify a clip’s authenticity. For additional information, we refer to our project website (see above). Hopefully, you enjoyed watching our video, and we hope to provide a positive takeaway

It’s important to note that these two companies are likely not creating their technologies for nefarious purposes, but those with bad intentions could most certainly find a way to use them. As Face2Face states, similar technology has been used in the movie industry for many years though now it is being made more widely available and easy to use. It will be interesting to see where all of this new technology leads and if it can actually be used to fool people.

What do you think of Face2Face’s and Adobe’s new tech? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

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