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Is Leveraging Blockchain Technology In The Fight Against Deepfake Possible?

By May 13, 20244 minute read

The boundary between fiction and reality is blurring more and more in the modern day, particularly with the rise of deepfakes. These creations of complex Artificial Intelligence (AI) raise questions about online security and deception because they can manipulate audio and video with ever-more-astonishing realism. In this context, with its transparent and immutable verification and authentication mechanism, blockchain emerges as an intriguing and promising defensive measure to their expansion.

What is Deepfake?

A deepfake is an artificial picture or video (a sequence of images) created using a particular kind of machine learning known as “deep” learning (thus the name.)

Deep learning is fundamentally the same as any other type of machine learning, in which an algorithm is fed examples and trained to generate output similar to the examples it was fed. Humans learn in the same way; a newborn will soon learn what is and isn’t appetizing by trying to eat random items.

As an analogy to machine learning and deepfakes, the objects lying around the house would be similar to real images on the internet. The baby’s ability to identify an object as edible or inedible after a few months would be analogous to the algorithm’s ability to create fake images that look like real ones after training on the available data.

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Producing intricate deepfakes actually requires the use of two algorithms. One algorithm is taught to generate the most accurate spoof versions of original photos. The other model is taught to distinguish between real and false images. The two models swap back and forth, each becoming more proficient at the job at hand. By competing models, you may develop a model that is very good at creating fake images—so good that people frequently fail to recognize the fakeness of the output.

Common Threats of Deepfakes

  • Misinformation and Manipulation: Deepfakes have the power to spread fake news and propaganda, leading to confusion and distrust among the public. This can fuel societal unrest, influence elections, or even disrupt financial markets.

  • Scams, Identity Theft, and Fraud: Deepfakes can easily lead to fraudulent activities, such as voice cloning, which can be used for impersonation, resulting in identity theft or financial scams.

  • Reputation Damage: Fabricated AI-generated content can severely harm someone’s reputation. For example, creating fake videos portraying public figures can lead to controversial or damaging situations.

  • Security and Privacy Threats: Deepfakes strictly pose threats to security and privacy. For instance, they manipulate images or videos to bypass biometric security measures or use them for blackmailing.

  • Lack of Trust: The most concerning impact is the lack of trust in digital media. When authenticity is questioned, making informed decisions as consumers, voters, or citizens becomes challenging.

Role of Blockchain Technology

Blockchain provides a reliable mechanism for verifying the legitimacy of digital content, including audio and video, because of its decentralized architecture and ability to securely and immutably record transactions. Blockchain technology can be used to create a system where each piece of material has a distinct digital fingerprint, or hash, that is recorded in a public ledger. This mechanism offers crucial features in the fight against deepfakes. Let’s check them out:

  • Immutable Record-keeping

Blockchain’s immutability ensures that it cannot be changed once data is on the chain. Applying to videos, this feature creates an unalterable record of original footage, making any subsequent edits or manipulations easily detectable, thus making it easy to expose deepfake creators.

  • Timestamping and Traceability

Blockchain timestamps provide a transparent timeline for video creation, modification, or access. This ensures that any attempts to alter videos can be traced back, swiftly identifying the source of misinformation and attributing responsibility.

  • Decentralized Verification

Using its decentralized network, blockchain enables independent verification of video authenticity by multiple nodes. Consensus among nodes confirms if a video has been tampered with, adding trust to digital content.

  • Use of Smart Contracts for Content Authentication

Smart contracts automate content authentication by embedding cryptographic signatures or hash into the blockchain. Any changes to the content would invalidate the contract, enhancing content security and simplifying verification.

Challenges While Integrating Blockchain Technology

  • Scalability Issues

Blockchain networks, especially public ones, encounter scalability hurdles when managing numerous transactions. To combat deepfakes effectively, scalable blockchain solutions are necessary to handle the extensive daily video content generated online.

  • Adoption and Standardization

For blockchain solutions to succeed, widespread adoption is essential. Establishing industry standards for video authentication on the blockchain promotes interoperability and simplifies integrating these technologies across different platforms.

Curtain Thoughts

The rapid growth of deepfakes represents a potential threat to the integrity of information in the digital age. On the other hand, blockchain has shown to be an effective tool for enhancing trust, providing a clear and immutable means of authenticating information. As technology develops, blockchain adoption might be crucial for preserving truth and trust in the digital era, providing a powerful check on the false information spread by deepfakes.

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Harshita Shrivastava

Harshita Shrivastava is an Associate Content Writer with WazirX. She did her graduation in E-Commerce and loved the concept of Digital Marketing. With a brief knowledge of SEO and Content Writing, she knows how to win her content game!

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