American actor Tom Cruise is no magician, but the video editing technology used to depict him performing a disappearing coin trick is like magic.
A Belgian visual effects professional recently made news by publishing a series of so-called ‘deepfake’ videos that convincingly merge Cruise’s face with footage of an impersonator, making the Hollywood icon appear to play golf and tell jokes.
These deepfakes are not the first, but the increasing realism caught the attention of those concerned that similar synthetic media will be used for nefarious goals. Industry experts and lawmakers are uneasy about the potential for deception intended to manipulate stock markets, sway elections or smear reputations. Already police have arrested a Pennsylvania mom for allegedly making fake videos of her teen daughter’s cheerleading rivals partying and participating in other compromising circumstances.
The industry needs leadership and solutions to help circumvent the dangerous potential consequences of convincing but untrue videos.
Digimarc is proud to join with other leaders including Adobe, Arm, BBC, Intel and Microsoft in the new Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), a group that aims to address the prevalence of misleading information online by certifying the source, history and origin or provenance of media content. Digimarc will lend its deep expertise in protecting the copyrights of photographers, authors and other content producers, and our lengthy history defending against tampering of government documents, persistently linking content to ownership information and tracing content to its source.
In a recent white paper, Digimarc has outlined a proposed system for mitigating the problem of deepfake videos with digital watermarks. Download the free research paper to understand how digital watermarking can support tracking the source of videos and verifying their integrity.
Ultimately, protecting against the potential for crime, fraud and bad actors will be truly magical for maintaining consumer trust and defending digital media in the future.