Deep Fakes and Implications for Photography

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by JoeW, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    661
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I just read an article at Vox.com that I found deeply disturbing that dealt with "Deep Fakes" Why Reddit’s face-swapping celebrity porn craze is a harbinger of dystopia

    It deals with the advances in software/post-production options that allow you to take anyone's face and create extremely realistic photos of that person that are fakes. Okay, there have always been some of this going on (from the old Soviets eliminating out-of-favor leaders in the May Celebration stands, etc.) and we've all seen people use photoshop to manipulate photos. And for those in to porn, you're probably seen "fakes" of a famous actress head over the body of someone engaging in sexual acts.

    But the article got me thinking. As one of the points mentioned in it....this can look so realistic, you can piss someone off and suddenly there are photos of pedofile acts being committed with what appears to be you in the photo. Not some crude fake where a close look shows it to be a merge of some sort. But a whole series....50-100 photos of what appears to be really you in sequence over an evening. The kind of stuff that would get you terminated at work, fired from coaching a youth sports team, cost you a business account or client.

    There were quasi-safeguards in the past. Most efforts like this looked amateurish. Or it took a real pro to do it. Or at best it took so much effort it would generate 1 or 2, maybe 3 photos. But now people can create a really good match, the software is available, the skills are widespread, and with facial recognition software improving, the dangers of this are far greater.

    I don't know what the answer is.

    I know the article I read talked about how people who take a lot of pictures will be someone others become a lot more suspicious of. I immediately thought of all those instances I took a picture on the street of someone in public in a public setting and they came up and insisted it was illegal to take their picture or demanding I delete it. I think we're going to see a lot more of that in the future. I think we're going to see situations where a photographer takes innocent photos (maybe a model's portfolio, a special event) and those photos are combined (without the photographer's permission) with porn or some other negative act.

    I already know of two people who faced simplistic and crude attacks like this: two former aides in the Republican party who spoke out against Donald Trump's nomination and then got hit with a series of underhanded attacks by anonymous sources (included photoshopped pictures of spouses having multi-racial group sex). It was bad enough that at least one other former aide I know censors his Facebook page (removing all anti-Trump references). My point is not to make this partisan--b/c this isn't about political affiliation--those are just examples I've seen happen. The article talks about we could see this when a HS girl turns down a prom invitation, or when a neighbor thinks your dog barks too much, or some other petty slight.

    Thoughts? Possible reactions or responses for trying to prevent this from becoming a bigger problem than it is?


     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. zombiesniper

    zombiesniper Furtographer Extraordinaire! Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Messages:
    5,989
    Likes Received:
    3,995
    Location:
    Angus, Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This is where more evidence would be required for any legal action.

    Even with really good fakes if you don't have an original file ie. RAW then it's really your word against theirs. So with appropriate digital evidence laws this could be taken care of.

    Where this really becomes the issue is when you have a western society like Canada and the USA where social media condemns you without evidence. This is where people are currently being fired for no more evidence than an angry mob.
    I have no solution for the media aspect but hope not too many people are burned before it's all figured out.
     
  3. Nintendoeats

    Nintendoeats TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2018
    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    20
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I believe we will cease to see photographic evidence as being useful. In court this will happen quickly (create fake photos which replace the accused's face with the judges, done), social media it is harder to say. Most people don't need photographic evidence to believe things they've heard on Twitter anyway.

    Essentially, I think that once everybody gets used to the idea that you can fake a picture of anybody doing anything, we willsimply cease to take photographs seriously as anything other than aesthetic exercises. I don't think that photographers will be burned at the stake though, it is too widespread an activity (find me somebody who DOESN'T take any photographs).
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,403
    Likes Received:
    5,691
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Altered digital images often show evidence of the alteration in the histogram of the image and/or by examining the image at the pixel level.
    Consequently, and as part of the discovery process, digital images get scrutinized pretty closely.

    As it is, eyewitness testimony is known to be about the weakest, least reliable evidence based on visual perception that can be offered in court.
     
  5. JoeW

    JoeW Been spending a lot of time on here!

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    Messages:
    1,496
    Likes Received:
    661
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I don't disagree that a rigorous digital or forensic analysis can usually identify fakes. And we've had photo fakes before. But the difference here is social media combined with easy access to pretty powerful software and then facial recognition software--that's a unique combination that really multiples the potential impact.

    It's pretty common these days for perspective employers to do a search on social media to see what shows up. Imagine if someone who you pissed off creates a fake account on FB then posts a "deep fake" photo of you appearing to expose yourself to a child? Or appearing to have sex with someone who is drunk and passed out? Or in a line of white supremecists marching at Charlottesville with you wearing a nazi armband? No trial involved, no jail time, but it would be pretty easy to be convicted in the court of public opinion as stuff would become viral. There is already an instance were facial recognition software mis-identify a neo-nazi at Charlottesville with an engineering professor at University of Arkansas. He was inundated with email and phone calls, had to shut down his phone and email.

    Again, I'm not trying to be paranoid here. Only that the potential for abuse by vindictive individuals who take advantage of social media is very high.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2009
    Messages:
    41,403
    Likes Received:
    5,691
    Location:
    Iowa
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Many minimize their use of social media, because they recognize there are so very many different ways it is bad for both individuals and for society.

     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. petrochemist

    petrochemist TPF junkie!

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2014
    Messages:
    1,213
    Likes Received:
    319
    Location:
    North Essex UK
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I hought it was just because we're antisocial :biggrin-93:
     
  8. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2016
    Messages:
    7,446
    Likes Received:
    3,167
    Location:
    Alabama
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    And yet the social media craze continues. I watched a young lady yesterday taking selfies of herself and posting one after the other. In many cases people don't have to worry about fake pictures because they put so much stupid stuff out there on their own.

    But you bring up some scary points. I watched a crime show the other night where a husband had murdered his wife and framed another man. The forensic photographs of the scene supported the husbands version of the story. However it was discovered the next day that the first officer on the scene had snapped photos, before anyone else had arrived. Apparently the First Responders on the scene had moved the bodies to attempt resuscitation, which blew holes in the husbands story. An honest mistake that almost let a murderer go free. It made me think though that an unscrupulous official or a third party could just as easily add incriminating evidence to a crime scene photo. I've been on many scenes, there's a lot of people milling around, and depending on location there's no way you could remember every little detail days later.
     
  9. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Eire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Petty slights are why American politics are where they are so I think there is probably no stopping this "Deep Fake" trend.
     
  10. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Eire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    This level of investigation will make no difference to the twitterati
     
  11. BananaRepublic

    BananaRepublic No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2014
    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    134
    Location:
    Eire
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Without getting stupid about society this is why the death penalty is at best flawed
     
  12. AlanKlein

    AlanKlein No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,023
    Likes Received:
    348
    Location:
    NJ formerly NYC


    We should use the bible standard that requires two eyewitnesses to find someone guilty of murder.
     

Share This Page