back to article Huawei and Intel hype up AI hardware, TensorFlow tidbits, and more

Hello, welcome back to the AI roundup. Here’s a short list of what’s been happening so far since the Christmas and New Year break. TensorFlow updates: Google has released new code for developers interested in training machine learning models more privately as well as a sneak peak of TensorFlow 2.0. TensorFlow Privacy is a …

  1. Starace
    Alert

    Deepfakes

    Does anyone actually think they're convincing? They still look about as crap as hacky video face overlays and lipsyncing did 20 years ago.

    1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Deepfakes

      "Does anyone actually think they're convincing?"

      Depends on the purpose. They are about as realistic (IMHO) as photoshop head swaps, and when used for masturbatory, embarrassment or entertainment the fact it's fake doesn't really matter.

      Bear in mind things have gone from a lass being hassled about "I've seen you in a porno*" because she was broadly the same shape and looks as the star of the skinflick, to the next generation of lads posting the skinflick and a bunch of pictures of their classmate to reddit and getting one made**. And if it's a phone screen being waved in your face, it's crap quality won't stop it making your life pretty shit for a while.

      To their credit the school came down on the guys involved like a ton of bricks. Cops too, the guys now have a record but dodged the most serious charge*** after the restorative justice process went well.

      Alas they don't have to be convincing, they have to be convincing *enough*.

      *this was in 2000, at high school to SWMBO

      ** my niece, 2018

      *** tried as an adult, if guilty 7-12 years and sex offenders register

      1. pavel.petrman

        Re: Deepfakes

        The thought of doctoring a Trump video for masturbatory purposes got me really disturbed.

        Glad to hear the case of your niece ended at least somewhat well and I hope that is not a rare thing!

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Deepfakes

      Well, Tina Fey was a more convincing Sarah Palin than Palin herself was. I guess it depends how plastic the politician is in the first place.

      Since Trump IRL looks like something left to decompose on a beach for a day or two and then dunked in fake tan, the bar is pretty low.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Deepfakes

        "Since Trump IRL looks like something left to decompose on a beach for a day or two and then dunked in fake tan, the bar is pretty low."

        Wow! 2 downvotes. So at least two people find Trump attractive! It takes all sorts to make a world I suppose.

        1. VikiAi Bronze badge

          Re: Two down-votes.

          Donald and Melinda down-voted it, of course.

          1. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

            Re: Two down-votes.

            Donald and Melinda down-voted it, of course.

            And Mrs. Gates would care why, exactly?

            1. Peter X

              Re: Two down-votes.

              || Donald and Melinda down-voted it, of course.

              | And Mrs. Gates would care why, exactly?

              He meant Melanie obviously

              1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                Re: Two down-votes.

                all the upvotes were fake upvotes, of course...

              2. VikiAi Bronze badge
                Facepalm

                Re: Two down-votes.

                Oops. Melanie, yes.

                Forgettable people are forgettable.

        2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Deepfakes

          I know you're not supposed to comment on the physical appearance of politicians, but when they have obviously spent a lot of money on looking like that they seem to me to be fair game.

      2. Big John Silver badge

        Re: Deepfakes

        > "Well, Tina Fey was a more convincing Sarah Palin than Palin herself was."

        Finding Tina Fey "convincing" says a lot more about you than it says about Palin.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          Re: Deepfakes

          Well, she definitely "convinced" me but, then, so did Lisa Ann.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge

            Re: Deepfakes

            You mean that guy servicing Tina wasnt a real plumber? Shit, thats why im retraining, I though that stuff happened all the time.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Deepfakes

          But John, you're a right wing troll.

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Deepfakes

      The ones that you notice are unconvincing. And the ones that you make on a phone app probably aren't state-of-the-art. When real money is spent? I think you've been got and you don't know it.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: Deepfakes

        When real money is spent? I think you've been got and you don't know it.

        Even if real money is being spent, we still notice for human subjects. Look at Rogue 1, the computer appearances off Moff and Leia were not particularly convincing.

        Real money, however can generate inanimate objects very well already as well as mix them into videos of background (+/- further generation). I have pointed elsewhere in this thread the infamous Buk in Donetsk video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sviL113eOU as an example of something generated. In addition to the issues with the background (no wind and trees do not move), it as well all other videos, I have seen from the "Buk trip from Kursk to Donetsk" sequence on Bellingcat contains a SMOKING GUN identifying them as generated fakes. To be more exact it is the lack of smoking GUN EXHAUST (pun intended). The software used to generate them could do inanimate objects very well and had models of various ancient Russian vehicles programmed in, but it could not generate smoke. Not surprising as smoke is hard. Very hard.

        As a result, the smoking gun appears in the first video, 10 seconds into it. Zhiguli (not even Lada), model 1 (which makes it 40+ years old), carburettor engine designed to work with leaded petrol only, cruising past emitting whiffs of fresh air. As someone who clocks 12K miles in Europe with a significant chunk of them in Eastern Europe each year I can say only one thing - BOLLOCKS. Any of the surviving examples are run by people who cannot afford lead replacement additives and have busted rings, no compression and burn oil on par with petrol. It should have looked like Admiral Kuznetsov going somewhere in a hurry.

        Further in the video - UAZ and other antics. Behind the transporter. No smoke.

        Roundabout, Eastern Europe, cars accelerating across it. Every single car has perfect compression and for the diesels a perfectly working DPF. In a war zone in ex-USSR. No smoke.

        The video is as if all cars in the video have freshly came out of the new UK regime MOT and had a passing score. BULLSHIT. All other videos I watched are the same too. Disclaimer : I got bored at some point so I have not watched them till the end.

        Smoke's equivalent in face/body deep fakes would be hair (especially long one) in motion. That is almost as hard as smoke and there is a reason why the current crop of deep fakes is usually limited to relatively static stuff.

        This will not last long - modern animation software is getting very good - I watched some software produce successful realistic models of both mountain river flow and hair movement on a dancer last month. We are just getting into it, as they say "watch this space".

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deepfakes

      Stuff like this works best with confirmation bias and is then a roaring success.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        Re: Deepfakes

        That's what makes Tina Fey so "convincing" as Sarah Palin.

  2. BugabooSue
    Devil

    Which is the fake one?

    So, the fake was on the left? Yes?

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Which is the fake one?

      One of them couldn't pass the Turing Test.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Which is the fake one?

      (On the top of a building. It is night and raining. Both Trumps are holding a pen with some papers and a cell phone using Twitter in their tiny little hands. Several helicopters are hovering over the scene, creating bizarre light effects that make both Trumps appear orangier and messing with their hairs. Our hero is armed and pointing the gun alternatively to both).

      - Shoot him -- I'm the Real Donald Trump, believe me!

      - No, shoot him -- I am the best that there is!

      (Scene cuts to show our hero has a RPG taped to his back -- and not the one with the nerds and dice. He slowly reach for it...)

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Which is the fake one?

        I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. Its the only way to be sure.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Which is the fake one?

          Any other clichés there mate?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Which is the fake one?

            I tried to add a "very stable genius" to it but couldn't be arsed.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That is no deepfake

    They just slowed the video and looped the last couple of frames (after enhancing his natural color a bit)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That is no deepfake

      > They just slowed the video and looped the last couple of frames (after enhancing his unnatural color a bit)

      FTFY

    2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: That is no deepfake

      Without having seen the video, but just from that still image, I'd agree: bit more red gain (everything red in the image is enhanced) and the whole picture is expanded and cropped.

      No need for deepfake tech there if you have a vision mixer to hand, as you might expect at a broadcaster...

    3. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: That is no deepfake

      Came here to post exactly this; this is not a deepfake, it's just basic video editing. I could do it in 10 minutes on my iPhone.

    4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: That is no deepfake

      So this is a fake deepfake? I sense a danger of infinite recursion here (which would by nature by very, very deep)

      Sorry, couldn't resist. I'll get me coat

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That is no deepfake

      Yeah, I thought that as well. Just some basic video editing no deep fake manipulation.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So this can be used...

    ... to make Trump appear to be acting like a lying asshole and make douchey, misogynistic and racist comments, right?

    Errr ...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: So this can be used...

      Go the other way.. it could be used by anyone to a produce a video of what they claim to have said or not said. The war of words and politics is about to get murkier.

      I believe that 1984 is now here and soon we will be seeing "government" outrage because "we're at war with Eastasia and have always been at war with them." And the proles will buy into it 100%

      1. MrDamage

        Re: So this can be used...

        Given that we are being bombarded with all sorts of celebrity dross on the front pages of newpapers/sites, I'd say it's more "Brave New World", than 1984, but your point stands.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So this can be used...

        Eastasia == Mexican Border

  5. ThatOne Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Brave New World

    Fakes (deep or shallow) are a boon to spin doctors and other heads of propaganda: If you just say "XYZ eat little babies", it's your word against theirs (and common sense's), but if you can direct people to YouTube, where they can see (if they squint enough) XYZ eating a baby, it's all good: Your followers will henceforth be able to say they saw it with their own eyes, and any refutation is automatically "Fake News".

    Or, in the vernacular: Picture, or it didn't happen.

    1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Brave New World

      Fakes (deep or shallow) are a temporary boon to spin doctors

      It will take one or two sufficiently loud bloopers for this to backfire and people to stop believing anything they see.

      This one should have been the prime example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4sviL113eOU - it is the video purporting to be of the infamous Buk in Donetsk.

      Cars, buses and even a huge transporter with a missile launcher AND NOT A SINGLE LEAF MOVES. The trees by the road are European poplars. Their leaves tremble at the smallest convection including the one generated by the heat of the sun on the leaves. A bus or a truck passing by will make the whole tree move. However, instead of moving they stand serenely and motionless like the USA flag on the moon in vacuum.

      As far as fakes go this is as fake and as brazen as the Trump video. It should have made it as the first example of great fake into the news. However, because this would have contradicted the narrative, any voices questioning its veracity got shouted down. And it is being a boom to our spin doctors indeed - all the way.

      Not to worry, there WILL be another one which will blow up in someone's face on prime time TV. It is only a matter of time. Once it happens a couple of times people will stop believing anything they see (including proper documentary footage).

  6. Tomato42 Silver badge

    deepfake?

    it seems to me like the term is being thrown around... I didn't see anything that a bit of colour correction and fudging with playback wouldn't achieve.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: deepfake?

      But "deepfake" is so much more.. it's a buzzword.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: deepfake?

        And deepfake done with blockchain is impossible to refute.

    2. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: deepfake?

      "I didn't see anything that a bit of colour correction and fudging with playback wouldn't achieve."

      Quite. Also, the edited ('faked' really isn't the appropriate word here) version was broadcast by Q13, owned by Fox News. IIRC, isn't Fox News a Trump-fan station? That's probably the real reason the staffer was sacked - he took the piss out of their beloved messiah by doing this.

      1. TomPhan

        Re: deepfake?

        Although owned by Fox the new broadcasts on regional stations usually take the political climate of the local area. Q13, based at the side of Lake Union in Seattle, is probably more to the left than any other station owned by Fox.

        1. TheRealRoland
          Unhappy

          Re: deepfake?

          Yeah, if you want crazy right-wing, watch KOMO (ABC, Seattle) in the morning. I think around 6am they are playing 'must-run' 'news segments' about all the current dangers from illegal immigrants, etc. KOMO is Sinclair-owned.

    3. xeroks

      Re: deepfake?

      Indeed. this is, it seems, a fake deepfake. How much faker do you want?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: deepfake?

        @xeroks; You're very clever, young man, very clever. But it's deepfakes all the way down!

    4. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: deepfake?

      Deepfake is the new AI. The same media that considers a DB lookup with a speech-to-text interface as Artificial Intelligence, also thinks that a bit of minor video editing is the same as a deepfake.

      Sigh.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is a fake deepfake a shallow fake?

    Or is it all boolean and so it's not not fake fake = true? Time to apply de Morgan's Laws to newscasts?

  8. Cincinnataroo

    This is an insult to deepfakes.

    We can do much better.

  9. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    Seperated at Birth?

    Suddenly it struck me: Donald Trump : Max Headroom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seperated at Birth?

      Dearie me - you're r-r-r-r-right!

      /me goes into a loop at the thought

    2. khjohansen

      Re: Seperated at Birth?

      Pffft - MH has more natural hair + skintone ;)

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Seperated at Birth?

        MH was great (although I dont think i'd like to re-watch the series, i'm guessing it hasnt aged well):

        Murray: You can't fake a tape! Pictures don't lie!

        Murray: At least not until you've assembled them creatively.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Seperated at Birth?

      Max Headroom would make a much better president. I wish this was a joke. Can an AI run for president?

  10. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    As a fake its unconvincing

    Mind you.

    As a POTUS, so is Trump.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As a fake its unconvincing

      Your down vote shows someone, probably Lil John, was, as right wing tossers say, 'triggered'

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: As a fake its unconvincing

      From memory (I did write it down), BBC Radio 4 news the other night told us,

      "President Trump's dismissed reports that he worked for Russia as a big fat hoax."

      Can you tell me if this actually is funny, then I can send it in to "Private Eye". I did e-mail it to "The News Quiz" but I do not expect a conclusive result. They'll laugh at anything. "Unfortunately, Slimming World has had to cancel its meetings here on Saturday mornings as the group is too large for the room."

  11. DGDC

    Q13 is not owned by Fox News, it is a Fox affiliate. Fox and Fox News are separate beasts, American TV station ownership and affiliations are generally separate. Cable networks like Fox News do not own stations. Broadcast networks do own a few stations, referred to as owned and operated (O&Os), in addition to cable networks. In some cases there is no outright ownership but instead owning a percentage. It is all complicated and ever shifting. Wikipedia is a good source to find out some details.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KCPQ

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm pretty sure that first pic is fake... the hands are too large!

  13. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Deepfake...

    ...should be the title of the next Stormy Daniels production.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Deepfake...

      Or create one for her.

  14. TomPhan

    Deepfake Tan

    Hours after the story, someone must have made that comment already.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Love you Reg!

    Reply to my email questioning if they'd noticed it probably is just a edit/clip pause:

    "Thanks for the feedback - the article does say it's claimed to be a deepfake but we're skeptical. I'll increase the skepticism

    cheers "

    Increasing the skepticism when things look obviously fishy is always welcome! :D

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