Deepfake has become one of the most debatable phenomenon in the technology sector. It is a method to digitally swap the face of one subject in an image with another. This process is also known as “FaceSwap”. This post will discuss what is a Deepfake, how Deepfakes or Face Swap work, Best Apps to do it, how to FaceSwap, applications, advantages and disadvantages.
What is a Deepfake or FaceSwap
Deepfake is a term that is derived from the combination of two words- “deep learning” and “fake” meaning “not true”. Deepfakes are artificial media that replaces the person’s face from an image or a video to another person that looks like him/her.
In simple terms it is called as ‘FaceSwap’. Deepfake Technology adopts necessary techniques from machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or generate visual and audio content with a high capability/probability to deceive. Deepfake or FaceSwap technology mainly swaps face or manipulates facial expressions.
Fig. 1 – Introduction to Deepfake & FaceSwap Technology
As this technology has introduced a crazy; yet new concept in the market, it has become popular than ever. The first Deepfake Production was FakeApp, developed by Reddit user. Face Swapping technology uses auto-encoder and decoder pairs where the autoencoder extracts dormant features of face images and the decoder is used to reconstruct the face images.
Image below illustrates how faceswap or manipulating facial expressions is done. While it seems a fun activity, there are advantages of it that make this technology incredible to defeat. However, this technology has two faced implications and is held responsible for adverse effects that are not a good fit for today’s world.
Fig. 2 – Representation of Face Swap
How does Deepfake or FaceSwap Work
Deepfake or Face Swap principle is explained step-wise for easy understanding of the concept.
The image region showing original face is extracted from an original frame of the video. This image acts as input to Encoder or Deep Neural Network (DNN), a technique from the domain of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Latent Face image with dormant features is created and this acts as an input to the Decoder. Reconstructed Face image is produced for both the images (Face A and Face B).
The DNN automatically generates a matching image showing second face or the reconstructed Face.
The face that is generated is inserted into the original reference image to produce the Deepfake or FaceSwap. Using the concepts of Deep learning (a machine learning method used to train deep neural networks (DNNs), this technology is efficiently replacing the faces from the images or videos, and imagining the change is practically impossible due to its accuracy. Exceptional results are derived using AI (Artificial Intelligence) and machine learning techniques.
Fig. 3 – Face Swapping Working Principle
The outcome of Deepfake/FaceSwap technology is extraordinary and can trick the viewer’s eyes. The Neural Network architectures like auto encoders and Decoders or Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs); targets to set the values equal and ultimately, it produces an excellent copy that is a look-alike.
Detection of whether a picture or video is real or fake is challenging and near to impossible because Deepfake technologies evolve rapidly. Deepfake technology fails to imitate realistically- such as eye blinking or facial tics.
Face Swap Apps
Best Face Swap Apps along with their download links are listed below:
- Face Swap by Microsoft : iOS, Android
- Facebook owned MSQRD App : iOS, Android
- Face Swap Live : iOS
- Face Swap Booth : iOS, Android
- Snapchat : iOS, Android
Fig. 4 – Deep fakes created using Apps
How to do Deepfake or FaceSwap using App
It is easy to do Face Swap by following these steps:
- Select a photo from your phones “Gallery” or take a snap on the run.
- Save this photo as this would be the face that will be swapped.
- Select another photo of a celebrity or a cartoon or pre-loaded pictures on the app and click on Swap.
- You can view the effect instantly.
Note: These are the basic steps to be followed irrespective of any App. However, options might differ in the downloaded apps.
Applications of Deepfakes or FaceSwap
The applications of Deepfake or FaceSwap technology include:
- Politics: Deep fakes have been used to misrepresent well-known politicians in videos.
- Acting: There has been speculation doing rounds about Deepfakes or Faceswap being used for creating digital actors for future films. This technology is currently being used in inserting faces to present movies.
- Internet memes: Many internet memes emerged utilizing Deep fake technology.
- Social media: Deep fake images have become popular social media platforms.
- Fake Videos: On the internet, many Deep fakes feature fake videos of people, often female celebrities whose similarity is typically used without their consent.
Advantages of Deepfake Deepfakes or FaceSwap Technology
Deepfake or FaceSwap Technology has many benefits that make it popular all over the world. The advantages include:
- Definitely entertainment is one of the biggest pros of Deep fake technology. It allows us to experience things that no longer exist.
- It makes us aware of fake things. Now we take some time to believe or do some research to authenticate the news.
- Through voice Deep fakes, many people who suffer from a wide range of medical conditions can speak.
- Interactive content for online learning courses.
- Being able to go back and change the dialogue in a movie or video without the need of a reshoot.
Disadvantages of Deepfake Technology
The disadvantages of Deepfakes or Face Swap include:
- Fraud: Audio Deepfakes have been in blackmailing and other scams, fooling people into thinking they are receiving instructions from a trusted individual.
- Credibility and authenticity: Deep fake motion pictures has been more difficult to create and the use of Face Swapping, increases the difficulty of classifying videos as genuine or not.
The use of this technology depends on the context a user is using it for. Whether they do it with a bad intention or a good intention, the technology is going to be modified, and a better option will shortly get delivered in the market. Therefore, it ultimately depends upon us as we choose the context where we use the latest technologies.
All of us however, make a great mistake by not following the ethics and the right context to use them, and the one getting blamed is technology. Deepfake or Faceswap can provide excellent support for many things and turn out beneficial in many ways by keeping the best intentions in mind.
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