Researchers at AI software company Metaphysic have pointed out an incredibly simple trick to unmask anyone using live deepfake software on a video call - asking them to turn their head to the side. According to the company’s new blog post, most current deepfake programs struggle to recreate the profile of a person’s face realistically. The photorealistic illusion falls apart as soon as the deepfakes’ heads turn 90 degrees to either side.

  • Most deepfake algorithms can only rely on front-on facial photo data. That’s primarily because profile shots mainly don’t exist in the treasure trove of face photos available on the internet - as they are not particularly desired in the media.
  • Siwei Lyu, professor of computer science and engineering at the University at Buffalo, says that the best deepfake algorithms can do is to roughly guess the profile, even if more recent sensors in smartphones collect some depth information.

A Cautionary Future: Researchers warn that as emerging technologies like 3D body scanning and photorealistic CGI models become more commonplace, a scammer could entirely replace their likeness with somebody else’s, going beyond this limitation.

Deepfakes 101: Deepfake technology is a product of powerful techniques like machine learning and artificial intelligence to manipulate or create visual and audio content that can deceive others.

  • There are growing ethical concerns worldwide about deepfake videos since their realistic appearance can be used to manipulate people maliciously.
  • Deepfakes have recently gained massive popularity through humorous videos created for social media. Since then, many scammers have used the technology to steal money or sensitive information from users.
  • In March, a video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was created through deepfake technology, in which he seemingly was conceding to Russia and asking Ukrainian forces to lay down arms.
  • Similarly, in May, swindlers created a deepfake video of Elon Musk, where he promoted an illegal crypto trading platform called BitVex.
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