Senate probe on ‘deepfakes’ sought

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Deepfakes use artificial intelligence alter videos and show people doing and saying something they did not do or say.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 16) — A senator is seeking a congressional probe into increasingly realistic fake pictures and videos generated by artificial intelligence, known as deepfakes.

“There is growing concern that digital content manipulation may become too ubiquitous and too accurate that the disparity between altered videos and reality become too minute for the human eyes and ears to perceive,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said in filing Senate Resolution No. 188.

Recto added, “Hyper-realistic fabrication of audios and videos has the potential to cast doubt and erode the decades-old understanding of truth, history, information and reality.”

He underscored that there is a need to strengthen government mechanisms to implement cybercrime and data privacy laws in light of the proliferation of deepfakes.

Deepfakes, which refer to a combination of the terms "deep learning" and "fake", use artificial intelligence to show people doing and saying something they did not do or say.

The first known videos, posted to Reddit in 2017, featured celebrities' faces swapped with those of porn stars.

CNN reported in October that there are at least 14,678 deepfake videos — and counting — on the internet, with 96 percent of them being porn, according to Amsterdam-based startup Deeptrace.

While most content generated by deepfakes are porn, there is growing concern that the technology may be used to influence public opinion, especially in the lead up to the 2020 elections in the US.

The US Senate passed in October a bipartisan bill that would require the Department of Homeland Security to publish an annual report on the use of deepfake technology.