Facebook launches a contest to detect Deepfake videos

Facebook hopes the competition will encourage the technology industry to create new ways to detect and prevent Deepfake videos before they spread.

Facebook hopes the competition will encourage the technology industry to create new ways to detect and prevent Deepfake videos before they spread. Therefore, Facebook has announced a public contest to develop technology for detecting Deepfake videos. The contest named Deepfake Detection Challenge (DFDC) will have both rankings and prize money. 

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For this contest, the company will release a data set of faces and videos. This data set will be built by commissioning paid actors, and the company promises not to use any Facebook user data. The competition will be officially launched with the accompanying data set in December at the Conference and Workshop on Neural Information Processing Systems (abbreviated as NeurIPS and formerly NIPS) in Vancouver, Canada. 

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In the company's blog post on Thursday, Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer said the goal of the competition is to create technology that everyone can use to better detect when AI is used for editing a video to mislead viewers. 

In total, Facebook will spend 10 million USD on this program. Grants and bonuses will be given to promote the whole industry to create new ways to detect and prevent media manipulation through the use of AI to mislead others, Schroepfer writes. 

According to the DFDC website, this competition will be implemented throughout 2020. Winners will be selected using a testing mechanism that allows teams to score the effectiveness of each model, based on confronting one or more test sets from their founding partners. 

Along with Facebook, there are other partners supporting this competition, including Partnership on AI, Microsoft, and research institutes such as Cornell Tech, MIT, University of Oxford, UC Berkeley, University of Maryland, College Park, and the University of Albany - SUNY. 

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The image of Mark Zuckerberg appears in a Deepfake video. 

Deepfake is becoming a problem for spreading fake news and especially it is even more dangerous with the ability to easily share on a social network with a huge scale like Facebook. The Deepfake Detection Challenge is not the first time that Facebook, which does not currently have a specific policy regarding Deepfake videos, has funded academic research into the threat. While the social network is still confused with this problem, some Deepfake videos created with the faces of Mark Zuckerberg or Senator Nancy Pelosi are released. That forces the company to quickly find technological solutions to detect these manipulated videos before they become too subtle to detect with the naked eyes. 

By: Gitta Russell

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