Profile image
By Alton Parrish (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last Hour:
Last 24 Hours:
Total:

Researchers Use Facial Quirks to Unmask ‘Deepfakes’

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.
Researchers at UC Berkeley and USC are racing to create new techniques to detect deepfakes of political leaders. This video shows two examples of deepfakes, “face swap” and “lip-sync,” which were produced by USC computer scientists for research purposes, and a new technique the team has developed for spotting them. 

(UC Berkeley video by Roxanne Makasdjian and Stephen McNally)

After watching hours of video footage of former President Barack Obama delivering his weekly address, Shruti Agarwal began to notice a few quirks about the way Obama speaks.

“Every time he says ‘Hi, everybody,’ he moves his head up to the left or the right, and then he purses his lips,” said Agarwal, a computer science graduate student at UC Berkeley.

Agarwal and her thesis advisor Hany Farid, an incoming professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and in the School of Information at UC Berkeley, are racing to develop digital forensics tools that can unmask “deepfakes,” hyper-realistic AI-generated videos of people doing or saying things they never did or said.

Seeing these patterns in the real Obama’s speech gave Agarwal an idea.

“I realized that there is one thing common among all these deepfakes, and that is that they tend to change the way a person talks,” Agarwal said.

Agarwal’s insight led her and Farid to create the latest weapon in the war against deepfakes: a new forensic approach that can use the subtle characteristics of how a person speaks, such as Obama’s distinct head nods and lip purses, to recognize whether a new video of that individual is real or a fake.

Their technique, which Agarwal presented this week at the Computer Vision and Pattern Recognitionconference in Long Beach, CA, could be used to help journalists, policy makers, and the public stay one step ahead of bogus videos of political or economic leaders that could be used to swing an election, destabilize a financial market, or even incite civil unrest and violence.

“Imagine a world now, where not just the news that you read may or may not be real — that’s the world we’ve been living in for the last two years, since the 2016 elections — but where the images and the videos that you see may or may not be real,” said Farid, who begins his tenure at UC Berkeley on July 1. “It is not just about these latest advances in creating fake images and video. It is the injection of these techniques into an ecosystem that is already promoting fake news, sensational news and conspiracy theories.”

On the left, Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon impersonates Elizabeth Warren during a skit, and on the right, face swap deepfake technology has been used to superimpose Warren’s face onto that of McKinnon.

(UC Berkeley photo by Stephen McNally)

The new technique works because all three of the most common deepfake techniques — known as “lip-sync,” “face swap,” and “puppet-master,” — involve combining audio and video from one source with an image from another source, creating a disconnect that may be uncovered by a keen viewer — or a sophisticated computer model.

Using the “face swap” technique, for example, one could create a deepfake of Donald Trump by superimposing Trump’s face onto a video of Alec Baldwin doing an impersonation of Trump, so that it is almost as if Baldwin is wearing a skin-tight Trump mask. But Baldwin’s facial expressions will still show through the mask, Agarwal said.

“The new image that is created will have the expressions and facial behavior of Alec Baldwin, but the face of Trump,” Agarwal said.

Likewise, in a “lip-sync” deepfake, AI algorithms take an existing video of a person talking, and alter the lip movements in the video to match that of a new audio, where the audio may be an older speech taken out of context, an impersonator speaking, or synthesized speech. Last year, actor and director Jordan Peele used this technique to create a viral video of Obama saying inflammatory things about president Trump.

But in these videos, only the lip movements are changed, so the expressions on the rest of the face may no longer match the words being spoken.

To test the idea, Agarwal and Farid gathered video footage of five major political figures – Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump and Elizabeth Warren – and ran them through the open-source facial behavior analysis toolkit OpenFace2, which picked out facial tics like raised brows, nose wrinkles, jaw drops and pressed lips.

They then used the outputs to create what the team calls “soft biometric” models, which correlate facial expressions and head movements for each political leader. They found each leader had a distinct way of speaking and, when they used these models to analyze real videos and deepfakes created by their collaborators at the University of Southern California, they found the models could accurately tell the real from the fake between 92 and 96 percent of the time, depending on the leader and length of the video.

OpenFace tracking software analyzes a real video of President Obama on the left, and a “lip-sync” deepfake on the right.

 (UC Berkeley photo by Stephen McNally)

“The basic idea is we can build these soft biometric models of various world leaders, such as 2020 presidential candidates, and then as the videos start to break, for example, we can analyze them and try to determine if we think they are real or not,” Farid said.

Unlike some digital forensics techniques, which identify fakes by spotting image artifacts left behind during the fabrication process, the new method can still recognize fakes that have been altered through simple digital processing like resizing or compressing.

But it’s not foolproof. The technique works well when applied to political figures giving speeches and formal addresses because they tend to stick to well-rehearsed behaviors in these settings. But it might not work as well for videos of these people in other settings: for example, Obama may not give his same characteristic head nod when greeting his buddies.

Deepfake creators could also become savvy to these speech patterns and learn to incorporate them into their videos of world leaders, the researchers said.

Agarwal says she hopes the new approach will help buy a little time in the ever-evolving race to spot deepfakes.

“We are just trying to gain a little upper-hand in this cat and mouse game of detecting and creating new deepfakes,” Agarwal said.

Contacts and sources:
Kara Manke
University of California Berkeley



Source: http://www.ineffableisland.com/2019/06/researchers-use-facial-quirks-to-unmask.html
Support BeforeitsNews by trying our natural health products! Join our affiliate program
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at www.mitocopper.com
Get our Free Ebook, "Suppressed Health Secrets" THEY don't want you to know!

APeX - Far superior to colloidal silver!  Desroys Viruses, Bacteria, Pathogens!
Ultimate Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
Supreme Fulvic - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy.
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser! Cleans out toxic buildup!
B-12 - Supports healthy metabolism, brain function, hormone balance!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Never Wax Your Car Again -
Protects vehicles for years with dazzling shine!
Smart Meter Cover - Reduces Smart Meter radiation! See Video!
Prodovite - The Secret To Healing is in the Blood!

Tactical Laser Blinds
Attackers
Bring Batteries Back
toLife!
New Laser Blinds Attackers Instantly! Bring Dead Batteries Back to life!
US Faces 100 Year Drought
Cut Power Bills by 65%
NASA - US Faces 100 Year Drought! Discovery Can Cut Power Bills by 65%
Report abuse

Comments

Your Comments
Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

SignUp

Login

Newsletter

Email this story
Email this story

If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.