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Workshop on Deepfakes November 2019

Addressing the Challenge of Deepfakes

The Hague -

The Hague, 11 November 2019. UNICRI, through its Centre for AI and Robotics, and the Data Science Initiative of the City of The Hague, hosted a workshop on Deepfakes and manipulated videos at The Hague Security Delta.

The workshop was a follow-up to the Hackathon for Peace, Justice and Security that took place over forty hours in June 2019, challenging participants to create tools for the detection of manipulated videos, such as Deepfakes. The aim of the hackathon was to develop innovative ways capable of verifying the authenticity of images and videos to support law enforcement, security agencies, courts and the media.

The objective of this follow-up workshop was to discuss the current status and prevalence of video manipulations; to understand how other organizations such as UNICRI, Europol and NATO are tackling this challenge, and what can and should do to make sure they are not misused and, if they are, how they can be detected. With respect to the latter, the workshop featured a high-tech session on the technology behind the detection of video manipulation.

Advancements in video manipulation technology and other programmatic misinformation methods are giving rise to a world where it is exponentially harder to distinguish between what is fake and what is real. Highly realistic videos, combining or superimposing images and video using machine learning techniques, can be created with increasingly relative ease and with limited resources. It has been already demonstrated that their use can have harmful consequences for societies.

Forty stakeholders from governments, the private sector and academia participated in the event, advancing discussions on the challenges, strategies, frameworks for working together and practical solutions for society to tackle Deepfakes. The ethical, legal, technological and social implications of Deepfakes and the possible solutions were the major theme of the workshop.

After the meeting, Irakli Beridze, Head of the UNICRI Centre for AI and Robotics, said that "UNICRI and the Data Science Initiative are working hard to ensure that this collaboration and series of events will lead to actual outcomes with action-oriented research, initiatives, and technical solutions to address this grand, alarming challenge. He also noted that a creation of a platform for further discussions and knowledge enhancement on Deep Fakes under UNICRI umbrella, will build on an existing and rapidly growing the Hague AI ecosystem.”

Kate Dodgson, Project Manager at Data Science Initiative said: “UNICRI Centre for AI and Data Science Initiative recognise the importance of bringing these diverse stakeholders together, as otherwise work carries on in silos. This workshop enabled sectors and organisations to hear about one another’s work, learn from each other’s best practice and lessons learnt, and helps to reduce replication of work while encouraging cross-sector collaboration.”