Deepfakes of world leaders may be easier to debunk ahead of the 2020 US presidential election with a new detection method. The rest of us are still out of luck, though. And the technique works only for a specific style of talking-head-style deepfake. Oh, and it's only a matter of time before manipulators figure out how to dodge this kind of detection, too.
As the researchers behind the breakthrough put it: Democracy, national security and society are at stake.
The researchers, who outlined the new technique in an academic paper Wednesday, created profiles of the unique expressions and head movements made by powerful people talking, such as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren. This "soft biometric model" helped detect a range of deepfakes, the kind of manipulated videos powered by artificial intelligence that have sprung up lately featuring Mark Zuckerberg, Kim Kardashian and others.