A newly-announced challenge is offering a total of $10 million in prizes to those who can create reliable deepfake-spotting software.
It's a good approach in life not to believe everything you see -- but it's a vital skill on today's Internet. In response to the dangers posed by deepfakes, realistic AI-generated videos of people doing and saying fictional things, a group of technology firms and academics have banded together to find a solution.
The group, which also includes Facebook, announced Tuesday that they're launching a public race to develop technology for detecting deepfakes.
Fake videos, real prizes
"The goal of the challenge is to produce technology that everyone can use to better detect when AI has been used to alter a video in order to mislead the viewer," said Facebook chief technical officer Mike Schroepfer.
In total, Facebook is dedicating $10 million to the program. The challenge, called the Deepfake Detection Challenge (DFDC), will have a leaderboard and prizes, which will be given out "to spur the industry to create new ways of detecting and preventing media manipulated via AI from being used to mislead others," Schroepfer explains.
Microsoft and the Partnership on AI have also thrown their weight behind the initiative. Partnership on AI is an industry-backed group whose mission is to promote beneficial uses of artificial intelligence. It includes members from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cornell University, University of Oxford, University of California-Berkeley, University of Maryland, and University at Albany. It's backed by Apple, Amazon, IBM and other tech firms and non-governmental organizations
All in all, the DFDC is likely the single most significant move ever taken against the dissemination of altered video and audio material intended to misinform public discourse. It's also the first project on the subject of media integrity started by Partnership on AI.
Deepfakes "have significant, global implications for the legitimacy of information online, the quality of public discourse, the safeguarding of human rights and civil liberties, and the health of democratic institutions," explains the executive director of the Partnership on AI, Terah Lyons.
Facebook said the funds it put up for grabs will go towards research collaborations and prizes for the challenge. Facebook itself will also enter the competition, but not accept any of the prize money. According to the DFDC website, the challenge will run throughout 2020. A winner will be selected using “a test mechanism that enables teams to score the effectiveness of their models, against one or more black-box test sets from our founding partners.”