Oct 25, 2019

The deepfake arms race: Amazon is now a part of Facebook’s Deepfake Detection Challenge

Deepfake technology is now more accessible to developers than ever before. As deep learning tools become more advanced and compute power becomes more readily available, big tech is starting to fight back. Amazon is the latest company to jump into the battle to detect deepfake images.

The ongoing war against deepfakes and altered images is being waged on several fronts.

First, governments are turning to regulation to control deepfake technology. California signed into a law that makes it a crime to distribute falsely doctored audio or video of a political candidate before an election. Virginia, Texas, and New York have introduced similar laws dealing with deepfakes.

Second, developer platforms are hoping to limit potentially harmful tools. GitHub removed all open source repositories containing the source code for DeepNude, a tool that created fake inappropriate photos from images of real people.

Third, and perhaps most promisingly, big tech companies are building smarter deepfake detection algorithms. AWS is adding up to $1M in credits for any team that needs cloud computing to complete the Deepfake Detection Challenge, Facebook’s open challenge to create better deepfake detection technology.

Amazon also sees an opportunity to reinvigorate its reputation in the world of artificial intelligence. AWS often loses mindshare to Google, creator of the popular TensorFlow framework and Google Assistant, and to Microsoft, who heavily markets Azure’s AI features.

As developer tools become more difficult to contain, big tech is locked in an arms race to detect deepfake creations. A public challenge open to developers might just be the key to success—and a nice boost to Amazon's AI reputation.

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