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RIT working on ‘De-Fake’ project to detect what’s real on the internet

todayFebruary 1, 2024 1

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) – John Sohrawardi who studies cyber security at RIT says deepfakes have been around since 2017 but have garnered more attention over the last week from fake pornographic-like images made of Taylor Swift.

Deepfakes can allow you to remove clothes from an existing image or even swap faces of one person to another person in a video.

Cybersecurity student John Sohrawardi says tools and software needed to do this used to be much harder to access because you could run the risk of malware or a computer virus, but now tools are more sophisticated, making it as simple as typing in the name of a celebrity and a description of what you want to see them do.

“As much as the Taylor Swift thing is raising awareness, it is also telling people ‘Hey, a tool like this exists and now on the internet you can find these tools’ and sadly X or Twitter is one of the biggest proliferators of the knowledge of existence of these tools because telegram bots can’t market themselves and they market themselves through platforms like Twitter,” said Sohrawardi.

Sohrawardi says he and others are working on an app to help detect what is real.

“The project we are working on at RIT is called De-Fake Project it aimed at helping journalists detect deepfakes so they can upload link images from social media and the tools is supposed to give them an output on whether the result is real or fake, “he said.

One local resident says he is concerned about how deepfakes could affect our children and he said the corporations creating these tools with little to no restrictions are largely irresponsible.

“I just think trying to monetize this without guardrails is potentially not only impacting our kids but could impact all of us,” said Joe Klein.

Congressman Joe Morelle has announced he is working to create legislation to stop the spread of pornographic deepfake images by making the practice illegal and holding those responsible accountable.

​ ROCHESTER N.Y. (WROC) – John Sohrawardi who studies cyber security at RIT says deepfakes have been around since 2017 but have garnered more attention over the last week from fake pornographic-like images made of Taylor Swift.

Deepfakes can allow you to remove clothes from an existing image or even swap faces of one person to another person in a video.

Cybersecurity student John Sohrawardi says tools and software needed to do this used to be much harder to access because you could run the risk of malware or a computer virus, but now tools are more sophisticated, making it as simple as typing in the name of a celebrity and a description of what you want to see them do.

“As much as the Taylor Swift thing is raising awareness, it is also telling people ‘Hey, a tool like this exists and now on the internet you can find these tools’ and sadly X or Twitter is one of the biggest proliferators of the knowledge of existence of these tools because telegram bots can’t market themselves and they market themselves through platforms like Twitter,” said Sohrawardi.

Sohrawardi says he and others are working on an app to help detect what is real.

“The project we are working on at RIT is called De-Fake Project it aimed at helping journalists detect deepfakes so they can upload link images from social media and the tools is supposed to give them an output on whether the result is real or fake, “he said.

One local resident says he is concerned about how deepfakes could affect our children and he said the corporations creating these tools with little to no restrictions are largely irresponsible.

“I just think trying to monetize this without guardrails is potentially not only impacting our kids but could impact all of us,” said Joe Klein.

Congressman Joe Morelle has announced he is working to create legislation to stop the spread of pornographic deepfake images by making the practice illegal and holding those responsible accountable. Read More Tech NewsRochesterFirst  

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