DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) is the government agency responsible for the developing things like killer robots, artificial intelligence, swarms of tiny drones, and even experiments with mind reading technology. And those are just the projects we know about.
"Deep fakes" usually refer to videos that have been altered to make it look like someone said or did something they did not. For instance, celebrities heads have been realistically attached to porn star bodies, so that it looks like the celebrity is starring in a porn film. Videos have also been created of politicians saying ridiculous things.
But don't worry! The U.S. government is here to save the day:
The U.S. Department of Defense is fighting back. After testing projects like driverless cars and early iterations of Siri, Apple's virtual assistant, years ahead of their release to the public, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is now taking on fake news…
"We have a mission within DARPA to invest in breakthrough technologies that prevent strategic surprise," said David Doermann, program manager of DARPA's new media forensics project called MediFor, "and essentially guarantee national security."
Doermann's team of researchers is working to create an automated tool to detect manipulations and then provide detailed information about how a photo, video or audio file was altered.
"If our adversaries are able to generate material that can spread quickly, they can generate all of this in a disinformation campaign," Doermann warned, emphasizing that people should always be skeptical that anything they are exposed to online could be challenged in one way or another for reality.
Problem: Deep Fakes. What can we believe? Which videos are real?
Proposed Solution: DARPA tells us what is real and what is fake.