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The Menlo Park-based nonprofit research group SRI International has been awarded three contracts by the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to wage war on the newest front in fake news. Specifically, DARPA’s Media Forensics program is developing tools capable of identifying when videos and photos have been meaningfully altered from their original state in order to misrepresent their content.
The most infamous form of this kind of content is the category called “deepfakes” — usually pornographic video that superimposes a celebrity or public figure’s likeness into a compromising scene. Though software that makes that makes deepfakes possible is inexpensive and easy to use, existing video analysis tools aren’t yet up to the task of identifying what’s real and what’s been cooked up.
Mission - Statement - Media - Forensics - Group
As articulated by its mission statement, that’s where the Media Forensics group comes in:
“DARPA’s MediFor program brings together world-class researchers to attempt to level the digital imagery playing field, which currently favors the manipulator, by developing technologies for the automated assessment of the integrity of an image or video and integrating these in an end-to-end media forensics platform.
MediFor - Platform - Manipulations - Information - Manipulations
If successful, the MediFor platform will automatically detect manipulations, provide detailed information about how these manipulations were performed, and reason about the overall integrity of visual media to facilitate decisions regarding the use of any questionable image or video.”
While video is a particularly alarming application, manipulation even poses a detection challenge for still images and DARPA is researching those challenges as well.
DARPA - Media - Forensics - Group - MediFor
DARPA’s Media Forensics group, also known as MediFor, began soliciting applications in 2015, launched in...
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