A big step up from simply “fake news”, a deepfake is a particular kind of manipulative media in the form of doctored videos. Deepfakes present real challenges to democracy and our electoral process, especially at the hands of those with the money to drive influence.
The term “deepfake” is a combination of the words “fake” and “deep”, as in “deep learning”, an Artificial Intelligence function. Using deep learning, a machine can analyse thousands of images and recordings, and use this to convincingly transpose one face over another in a recording. This creates increasingly hard-to-spot videos of deception. Increasingly, believable-looking videos are depicting people doing and saying things they have never said or done. It’s sometimes described as “Photoshop on steroids”.