Flood of 60,000 deep fakes unleashed in 2020 ‘threaten democracy’

The number of deep fake videos more than doubled in 2020, according to a new documentary by Channel 4's Dispatches team which shows The Queen doing a raunchy dance.

In the faked clip, which helped promote the doc but was also hit with criticism, the Queen apparently shakes her hips like a TikTok star and announces she wants to appear on Strictly Come Dancing.

Deep fakes are synthetic media made with computer software that creates a perfect likeness of a person and is then often used in celebrity pornographic videos, revenge porn, fake news, hoaxes, and financial fraud.

Worryingly, Britain is now one of the top targets for deep fake videos globally and they are more often used for criminal purposes rather than harmless parody, according to Dispatches.

Interviewed for the show, Giorgio Patrini, Sensity CEO and chief scientist, revealed the problem is spiraling out of control.

He said: "Our research shows that in the last 12 months we were able to identify more than 60,000 deep fake videos on the web.

"So these are newly created, just in 2020.

"This corresponds to a growth of this year of about 250% in the volume of videos you will see online."

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He said the UK is a "very significant target" and, based on his company's research, 10% of the victims of deep fake videos are British.

Most of the victims are from the entertainment industry, with celebrities and public figures at risk because there is already a wealth of pictures and video clips of them online that can be manipulated with computer software.

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Nina Schick, the author of Deepfakes and the Infopocalypse, said: "Deep fakes are actually a big threat to our institutions and democracies and that’s because you are essentially giving anybody to create synthetic video of people saying or doing things that they never did.

"In a world where trust is already rapidly declining, this a very powerful weapon of visual disinformation."

Even worse, Nina doesn't think the world is yet ready to combat the slew of fake media storming the web.

She said: "I think, unfortunately, governments are not yet up to speed.

"Governments need to grapple with the scale of this challenge very very quickly because, if they don't, it will get a lot worse."

Deep fake videos are currently heading towards a level of sophistication where existing artificial intelligence cannot detect them, Nina previously told Daily Star.

There are even concerns deep fakes could be used by criminals to get away with murder in trials.

Deep Fakes: Can You Trust Your Eyes? was first aired on December 28 and is available on Channel 4's All 4 on-demand for 28 days

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