Saturday, November 26, 2022 | 09:16 pm

NAB Exhibitor Using Tech To Fight Deepfakes

NAB Exhibitor Using Tech To Fight Deepfakes

Technology innovators have been working since the emergence of deepfakes to prevent the illegitimate use of computer-generated images and voices made to look exactly like a celebrity, politician, or unwitting private citizen.
One of the more alarming deepfakes was produced a few years ago by filmmaker, producer and actor Jordan Peele in which he appeared as a computer-generated likeness of Barack Obama to caution the public that seeing isn’t always believing.
A tech company called Veritone, which has an exhibit at N.A.B. this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is using innovations to provide built-in verification that the computer-generated voice and image of an avatar was made with the consent of the person it represents.
“People’s voices are very unique. they have distinct waveform patterns,” said Veritone President Ryan Steelberg. “We even take it a step further. When any voice is produced using any of our models, we actually embed inaudible markers in it.”
Steelberg said, while Veritone has developed technology to quickly identify the unauthorized use of a person’s likeness, it’s a two-way street. “We have the technology now to verify that we are the original consent, but we need the gatekeepers to also participate,” he said. “It will be some cost to the major hyperscalers and gatekeepers, but the technology absolutely does exist.”
As computer-generated technology advances, these avatars will begin to fill practical applications. For example, said Steelberg, film producers won’t need to panic if the star of their film is unavailable to re-shoot a scene.
“At times, they’ll even cut that whole piece out of the movie because they can’t get [a star like] Tom Hanks back into the studio to re-cut that spot. So, there’s a lot of practical dubbing and great use cases that this technology – now that the quality of the images and voices are so good – it can be really very efficient.”
Veritone’s Scott Leatherman says avatars can even be created and introduced into an individual’s daily life, and with the use of artificial intelligence, allow the user to interact with a community of avatars, or avatars and real humans.
“You could be looking at your church community, your favorite sports team or whatever that is – you could be surrounding yourself with engagement, whether it’s synthetic media or its live media being streamed to you.”
In other words, Leatherman sees a day when a user could choose to interact with the avatar of his or her favorite artist.
“When you talk about a giving their rights up to engage you, and let their voice, their avatar, their music, whatever that is – that dynamic interaction is a part of the community that you can then enjoy,” Leatherman said. “Whether it’s your morning wakeup phone call or it’s your afternoon lunch – you can sit down and have a conversation – an intelligent conversation with people that have been beyond your grasp as a fan.”