What are Deepfakes, and Why Are They so Dangerous?

Jorge Felix  - Cybersecurity Expert
Last updated: November 7, 2023
Read time: 16 minutes

Deepfakes pose great entertainment opportunities but also criminal activities. This article explains the risks and how to avoid them.

Deepfakes are the latest development in AI-assisted multimedia. The means to produce deepfakes are becoming increasingly available to the general public. That involves risks and potential for criminal activities like we’ve never seen before. The only trick to avoid being fooled by deepfake is to detect it by knowing what deepfake is all about.

Perfect replication has been a holy grail of sorts for Sci-Fi for decades. Think about Star Trek’s replicator devices which can reproduce anything from food to tools, except for latinum, which is why it’s the galaxy’s currency. Or the T-1000 robot in the Terminator franchise can adapt its shape to look like any person. Well, digital technology’s current state of the art is getting close to perfect replication, at least when it comes to digital media. So now we have a new technological item, the “deepfake .”It’s a piece of media altered to look and sound like anybody, dead or alive. So the future is here, and it’s not always good news.

What is a Deepfakes?

Deepfake is a piece of digital media. Videos are the most popular kind that is engineered to look genuine.

Deepfakes come courtesy of our most advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies. These cutting-edge tools allow the manipulation of video and audio that come close to the real thing. Very close indeed.

Look at this example below. It features a false Mark Zuckerberg (of Facebook fame) in which he uttered a few words worthy of a Bond villain — even referencing Spectre.