By creating these digitally manipulated videos, Google’s scientists believe they are learning how to spot deepfakes, which researchers and lawmakers worry could become a new, insidious method for spreading disinformation in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.
For internet companies like Google, finding the tools to spot deepfakes has gained urgency. If someone wants to spread a fake video far and wide, Google’s YouTube or Facebook’s social media platforms would be great places to do it.
Imagine a fake Senator Elizabeth Warren, virtually indistinguishable from the real thing, getting into a fistfight in a doctored video. Or a fake President Trump doing the same. The technology capable of that trickery is edging closer to reality.