8 steps to verify Deep Fake videos

Konrad Weber
5 min readNov 8, 2018
Admittedly, this image is easy to verify. But how about deliberately falsified moving images? — Source: twitter.com/bornmiserable

Deep fakes attract a lot of attention in those days. Depending on the interpretation and technological understanding, we are on the verge of losing a lot of control over our face and our voice, or we are facing the next logical step after the possibilities of changing static images using Photoshop and other image processing software.

My colleagues from SRF Data have examined this phenomenon and show how deep fake videos are created.

What are Deep Fakes?

The term consists of “deep learning” and “fake” — the learning of artificial intelligence with the intention of creating a targeted fake. In most cases, this is based on video manipulations in which software analyses the source material and extracts part of it, then inserts and adapts it in another video. So-called “face swaps” are the most common form of Deep Fakes — i.e. the swapping of faces.

But development continues: Adobe recently introduced the Cloak project, in which intelligent technology helps to remove specific content from a video.

How to create Deep Fakes?

Whereas in the past it was necessary to use expensive software to change moving image material and this was therefore mainly reserved for film production in Hollywood, today every user can do this himself with the corresponding apps on his smartphone. The result is currently still an approximation, but even with a more elaborate graphics process and the corresponding (freely available) software, quite professional-looking deep fakes can already be developed. To generate “good” deep fakes, you still need about 300–2000 images as source material, which the artificial intelligence has to analyse to learn from.

How common are Deep Fakes?