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New deepfake technology claims to protect your privacy

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The whole world knows that deepfake technology, while impressive is very dangerous.  Dangerous, mostly for its ability to be used to incriminate famous people and politicians into doing and saying things they never did. Some new technology from an Israeli privacy company, D-ID, could make the threat of deepfake technology a whole lot more personal (as revealed by MIT Technology Review).

The company claims that their new technology can create versions of people that are distinct enough to be used commercially without consent. D-ID’s software uses advanced algorithms to gather data from footage to replicate a person’s face and alter it to a degree that protects their identity. Though still leave an uncanny resemblance in the minds of many people.

While they could be used for nefarious purposes, the company says that is not the intention. Says Gil Perry, CEO of D-ID:

“D-ID does not sell its technology for use in commercials without consent. We have created the first solution to protect user identities against facial recognition software, in both photos and videos. The fundamental values behind this technology, and the reason we established D-ID, have always been protecting individual privacy – first and foremost. We have never sold this technology for advertising use, and we do not intend to.” 

The company’s deepfakes use computer vision and deep learning to achieve the feat of changing a person’s appearance. The latter is a set of machine algorithms that analyses images in layers to pull out more refined details. Lower levels of deep learning can identify outlines, while higher functionality enables the identification of individual fingers.

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I was already scared of deepfake tech before this news, but quite frankly this just makes me even more uneasy. The fact that companies can fake customer testimonial, in my opinion, should be declared unethical and if a company isn’t willing to include actual customers in advertisements in the likes then they just shouldn’t even go down that path.

Let’s hope the world can put more accountability measures in place before this technology grows too much. Mind you, perhaps the world has secretly been using it for years already and that would explain why politicians are saying all the dumb things they do. Though I don’t think even deepfake technology can replicate some of the stupidity we see these days.

Last Updated: January 16, 2020

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