Here’s How We Can Battle Deepfake Videos Using Blockchain’s Ingenious System

News | December 18, 2019 By:

One can say the 21st century is an era of exponential advancement in every possible direction. And one of its main facets is technology – this ever-evolving invention that has been shaping our lives for centuries. What’s more, we cannot even perceive the whole scope of technological development, as it is nauseating, to say the least. 

In this myriad of inventions, there’s one particular technology – or, more precisely, technique – that mesmerizes and terrifies us all at the same time. It’s called “deepfake” and people use it to artificially change faces in the videos.

We’ve seen videos where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s famous Terminator has Sylvester Stallone’s face attached which, to be honest, can sometimes be spot on. But apart from this fun application, deepfake can potentially be used for malicious activities and agendas.

Unfortunately, there are many people who can mask themselves as influential political leaders and record videos with crucial political messages and decisions. And if enough effort is put in it, no one can spot any flaws with the footage.

But things might not be so hopeless, after all. There’s yet another facet of technology called blockchain that can effectively get rid of – or, at least, alleviate – this malicious use of deepfake method.

It’s called the blockchain. It was first introduced alongside Bitcoin – a cryptocurrency that was both secure and instantaneous. The technology quickly became an overwhelming hit, with many public and private entities using it in their services, as the Itrader review here indicates. But before we jump into explaining how blockchain does this, let’s take a closer look at deepfake and how it works.

Exploring deepfake

The word itself, “deepfake”, is a composite of two separate words – “deep learning” and “fake”. As the first component suggests, it is a form of artificial intelligence that collects and processes data itself. What’s more, all this processing occurs instantly, as the thing or event being observed takes place.

When it comes to video footage, deep learning mechanism can not only identify a shape and position of faces, but it can also detect their individual parts and map them in a three-dimensional space. It can pretty much take an exact copy of that person and even mimic their every move and facial expression.

Then comes the “fake” part. As the “foundation” is ready – which is all the facial segments of the initial face, – then the software takes another face that it has already mapped and puts it on former. Then, as the patterns and expressions are digitized, a deepfake video is done – the secondary face can do anything that the first one does.

But as this method slowly gains popularity, many analysts and publishers began to warn about its dangerous sides. According to the MIT Technology Review, deepfake can be “a perfect weapon” for terrorists, as well as fake news agencies to make famous and influential politicians say what they want. This can, in turn, have a massive effect on global politics, economy, and even culture.

But technology isn’t a closed environment where one segment develops and others fall behind. While deepfake gains popularity and becomes more sophisticated, other technological innovations arise to offset its damaging sides. 

How can blockchain alleviate deepfake’s malignant features?

As we noted above, blockchain can be used to avoid the spread of fake footage and other media types that purvey false messages to society. In this chapter, we’ll explain what blockchain is and how it can counteract those effects.

First off, blockchain is a ledger platform that acts as a notebook where all the processes and transactions are safely stored. But unlike conventional ledgers like Google Spreadsheets or Microsoft Excel, blockchain is much more protected and even encrypted.

Every data on this platform is stored in blocks that are themselves encrypted using cryptography. However, if that wasn’t enough, every single block is intertwined with several adjacent blocks, making it incredibly difficult to amend their internal storage.

So, this is the system that steps up to save the day. When conventional videos are recorded, the data, such as timestamps, recording settings, colour pallette, editing software, etc, is stored in an open-source. What this means is that not only can anyone see the details and change them, but they can also make adjustments to the whole video – including applying deepfake to it – while the settings remain the same. It’s as if the original footage was recorded that way.

With bitcoin, on the other hand, the details of the footage are recorded on a protected and encrypted ledger. This ensures that when the video is delivered from one point to another, no third party can see the details of it, let alone make amends.

So, when someone records a video using blockchain encryption, its data will be stamped forever. And when someone comes across that video, they can easily check its credibility on the system, since no one can change those details. If the video is manipulated using deepfake, its metadata will be different from the original source, thus, identifying it won’t be a problem.

Blockchain – a saviour of the day

Blockchain was first introduced to battle the insufficiencies of the currency market. Bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies effectively got rid of some of the biggest drawbacks of fiat currencies like slow transaction speeds, inflation, etc.

However, the system quickly became popular in other areas as well. And multimedia is one of those areas. While deepfake videos are becoming more and more commonplace, it can be difficult to spot them which, in turn, can be used for various malicious purposes.

Here, blockchain comes in to securely record all the data and not let anyone make changes to them. And while this technology is still in its infancy, things are definitely looking up in the future.