The "deepfake": what possible drifts?

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Have you ever heard of hyperfake or "deepfake"? This technique makes it possible to modify a video or audio content in a very realistic way using artificial intelligence. It then becomes more difficult than ever to differentiate the true from the false. The following guide will make students realize that the line between information and disinformation can be easily blurred, in addition to making them think about possible strategies for questioning what they see.

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Have you ever heard of "deepfake"?

" The deepfake, or hypertrucage, is an image synthesis technique based on artificial intelligence. It is used to superimpose existing audio and video files on other videos (for example: changing a person's face on a video). The term deepfake is a portmanteau word formed from deep learning (deep learning) and fake (false). "

Source: Wikipedia

There are a few "deepfake" videos that have caught the eye over the past few years. We only have to think about the one where Barack Obama addresses the nation to call Donald Trump an idiot or to Loto-Québec advertising who brought back a Bernard Derome from the 1970s:

“'They have paid my head and I gladly accept that we pay my head. I told them to go all out, to push. I have a sense of the ridiculous! ” he says, laughing out loud as he recounts spending several hours in the studio making sure his voice is perfectly in sync with the images of his face that technology has plastered onto that of an actor chosen for his similar build to the one he had 50 years ago. "

Source: La Presse, February 9, 2020

It is now the turn of Tom Cruise to make the “buzz” on the Web for a few days… Or rather a fake Tom Cruise! Watch this montage of the various videos that ended up on TikTok and that were viewed by more than 11 million people before being removed:

It's confusing, isn't it? A few days after their broadcast, we learned that these videos were in fact the work of Chris Ume and the group Deep Voodoo Studio, specialists in visual effects.

Creators are aware that this technology can be misused. The "deepfake" can, in a way, make say or make do what we want, to whom we want. There is a real risk of deception, of hoax. How to distinguish the real from the false with this technology?

“And the risk of a possible proliferation, and therefore trivialization, will not only create falsehoods, but also deny the truth. A politician, for example, who gets caught saying an enormity could invoke hyper-trick to claim loud and clear that he never said that. "

Source: Radio-Canada, February 10, 2020


Disciplines and levels targeted

- Ethics and religious culture (2nd cycle of secondary)

  • The ambivalence of human beings

- French

  • Write a variety of texts

Targeted dimensions of digital competence

  • Harnessing the potential of digital technology for learning
  • Communicating via digital technology
  • Producing content with digital
  • Develop and mobilize their technological skills

Suggested digital tools

Educational intention of the guide

The following activities will make students aware that the line between information and disinformation can be easily blurred, in addition to making them think about possible strategies to question what they see.

Objectives of the activities

  • Define different concepts (artificial intelligence, deep-faking, deep learning, disinformation, etc.) in the form of a sketch-note.
  • Reflect on the notions of ethics and consent related to deepfakes.
  • From the report ofInvestigation on deepfakes, write a blog post about the dangers of such technology on democracy and security (personal and national).

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Designed to fill short periods or inspire larger projects, the activities offered in the SCOOP! allow the teacher to approach the subject matter in the program in addition to developing the information literacy and digital skills of the students.

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