Which picture is deepfake?  Our brain knows the answer before our consciousness!

Which picture is deepfake? Our brain knows the answer before our consciousness!

Deepfakes are artificial intelligence-generated videos and images of people that are becoming more and more realistic. This makes them the perfect weapon for disinformation and fraud.

But while a deepfake may be knowingly deceiving, new evidence suggests that our brains are better at distinguishing them than our minds. According to a study published in the journal Vision Research, fake portraits trigger different signals on brain scanners. Although we can’t consciously spot the fake (the face on the right of the attached photos is the fake), our neurons more reliably distinguish the real from the fake. “Our brain sees the difference between the two images. It’s just that we don’t become aware of the sight,” said the co-author of the article, Thomas Carlson, a researcher at the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Psychology.The experts asked volunteers to look at a series of hundreds of photos, some of which were real, and some of which were fakes generated by a GAN (Generative Adversarial Network, a common way to create deep fakes). One group of 200 participants was asked to guess which image was real and which was fake by pressing a button. Another group of 22 participants did not guess, but had their members undergo electroencephalography (EEG) tests while looking at the pictures. EEGs showed different signals compared to real images when participants viewed depth fakes. “The brain reacts differently than when it sees a real image. It’s quite difficult to figure out exactly what it perceives, because all you can really see is that its reaction is different. This is something that we need to do more research to find out,” Mega Carlson stated. EEG tests were not foolproof: they could only detect deep fakes in 54 percent of cases. But it was significantly better than participants who made conscious guesses. People found deepfakes only 37 percent of the time, i.e. worse than flipping a coin. “The fact that the brain can detect deepfakes means that current deepfakes are flawed. If we can learn how the brain detects deepfakes, we can use that information to create algorithms that indicate potential deepfakes on digital platforms like Facebook and Twitter,” Carlson said. The procedure could also be used to prevent fraud and theft.”EEG-enabled helmets could have helped prevent recent bank robberies and corporate fraud cases in Dubai and the UK, where fraudsters used cloned voice technology to steal tens of millions of dollars. In these cases, financial staff believed they were hearing the voice of a trusted customer or colleague , and tricked them into transferring money,” said Carlson. However, this is by no means a guarantee. The researchers point out in their paper that even during their research, GANs have become more advanced and have generated better fake images than the ones used in their study. It is possible that once the algorithms exist, the deepfake producers will simply figure out how to outwit them – wrote Cosmos magazine.

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