By Patrick Howell O'Neill
"Our guess that in two to three years, it's going to be perfect. There will be no way to tell if it's real or not."
Hao Li, a deepfake pioneer and an associate professor at the University of Southern California, expressed shock at the speed at which AI-powered deepfake video technology is advancing. Li also runs a startup called Pinscreen that uses the tech for entertainment purposes; his team put Paul Walker into Furious 7 and is currently working on a Will Smith movie.
Collaborating with Hany Farid of UC Berkeley, Li hopes to help Farid in his work to detect the kind of deepfakes Li creates — which is only getting more difficult as deepfake technology improves.
The latest in deepfake news is the Chinese app Zao, which allows you to place yourself in popular television shows and movies with just a single photograph. Li comments, "It's funny because a few months ago I said it may be years until that moment where it's easy for anyone to do this. No one realized there was this Chinese app that came out a week later."
Hany Farid is a professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information and EECS. He specializes in digital forensics.