Monday 7 October 2019 6:46 pm

Number of deepfake videos online almost doubles

The number of “deepfake” videos – which use artificial intelligence technology to superimpose images onto existing footage – on the internet has surged over the last nine months.

Researchers at cyber security firm Deeptrace found 14,698 deepfake videos online last month, compared to 7,964 in December last year. 

Read more: The threat of deepfake videos to democracy

The report said that 96 per cent of the videos were pornographic, with the computer generated face of a celebrity replacing the original actor.

Researchers also highlighted the potential use of deepfake videos for political means. 

However, in two of the examples given, which were cases in Gabon and Malaysia, the allegations that deepfake videos were used turned out to be false, the BBC reported. 

Deeptrace chief executive and founder Giorgio Patrini said: “Previously, no commonly available technology could have synthetically created this media with comparable realism, so we treated it as authentic by definition.

“With the development of synthetic media and deepfakes, this is no longer the case. Every digital communication channel our society is built upon, whether that be audio, video, or even text, is at risk of being subverted.”

Yesterday it was revealed that a top energy company executive was tricked out of £200,000 by deepfake scammers who used artificial intelligence to mimic his boss’s voice.

Read more: How worried should you be about deepfakes?

The UK boss of an unnamed energy firm was tricked into transferring the money following a phone call from that appeared to come from his boss at the German parent company, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Last month Google released a database of 3,000 deepfake videos to help researchers develop methods of removing the videos.

Main image credit: ALEXANDRA ROBINSON/AFP/Getty Images