Behind the Scenes

Jan 4, 2024

2024, Part One: Preparing for Deepfake Detection's Defining Year

Person walking forward

Four days into the new year is the absolute last appropriate time to talk about the year ahead.

After all, much of 2023 was narrowly dedicated not to present happenings and concerns in our field (save for a kerfuffle or two), but what 2024 would bring in terms of AI advancements, incidents, encroachments, and disasters. Those outside our domain are either indifferent or expecting the worst. Those working on the defensive side of AI (yes, including the Reality Defender team) have long prepared for the near-infinite scenarios that can, may, will, or will not happen this year.

Instead of wildly speculating on what will happen in 2024 — a year of major elections, heightened awareness on AI, and unfathomable technological advancements — I’d rather share how we’ve spent the last few years preparing for “the unpreparable.”

Proactive Means Proactive

Reality Defender is a proactive deepfake detection platform. This means two things:

  • We help enterprises, institutions, platforms, and governments catch deepfakes early, potentially before any damage is done.
  • We not only detect deepfakes of known models, but of future models based on research.

This second point is crucial. Instead of simply reacting to existing, known models today, our research and development team implements detection of not-yet-existing models by following the research. As much/all of generative AI is based on research, and as our team of research veterans have a close ear to the ground on all things generative AI research, they are able to implement techniques into our detection models that have yet to be productized on the generation side of things.

This has been our attitude from day one. It’s helped us detect some of the most well-known generation tools on their first day live, scaling our coverage in lockstep even as their technology advances. This is the closest thing to precognition in our field and has further cemented our status as the leading deepfake detection solution.

Starting From the Top

Weaponized deepfakes and AI-generated disinformation impacts everyone, and thus everyone should be aware that reality is now unfortunately malleable in some ways.

At the same time, we still believe ordinary citizens should not have to consistently worry and scan every file they come across for AI-generated manipulations (or lack thereof). Such an exhausting task not only creates a new burden, but lack of access to such tools creates an unequal playing field of truth.

A customer should not have to worry if their financial institution is letting bad actors clone their voice and transact in their name. Consumers should not have to ponder whether the media outfits serving them have fallen for AI-generated disinformation and reported incorrect information. Citizens should not have to stay up at night about government agencies acting on deepfake-driven propaganda.

This is why we work with the largest banks, media organizations, and governments, among countless other industries: to provide the benefits of deepfake detection for millions and doing so without putting the onus on the end user, customer, or citizen.

Such blanket protections afford these entities best-in-class and state-of-the-art deepfake detection for everything they’re thrown this year (and every year after). With constant updates, upgrades, and iteration to our models and system, this means protection from threats today and threats to come.

Transferring Knowledge 

The Reality Defender team and I are at a unique advantage of having early access to the latest research, trends, and news in our field. Though we’ve extensively covered the dangers of deepfakes and all related matters, we are greatly increasing our educational and informational efforts this year.

As deepfakes and AI-generated media become a double-digit percentage of content consumed on the web, education and awareness will become doubly important for all. In the coming weeks and months, we will share everything you, your company, and your team needs to know about living and working in a deepfake-laden world — regardless of your field or technological expertise.

Though we believe ordinary citizens should not be armed with deepfake detection capabilities, we also believe all people should be equipped with the knowledge and media literacy skills to effortlessly separate fact from fiction. By bolstering our educational efforts, we can help create a first line of defense against disinformation. 

This year is shaping up to be the defining year for artificial intelligence and its related detriments. We expressly built Reality Defender for this purpose and with worst case scenarios in mind, preparing for everything and anything that may arise from AI and its weaponized usage. As the year moves on, it is our job as both leaders in our space and capable protectors to defend against the worst in any and every way imaginable, upgrading capabilities, helping clients, and educating people to build the path for a safe year.

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