Sarah Vitak: This is Scientific American’s 60 Second Science. I’m Sarah Vitak.
Early last year a TikTok of Tom Cruise doing a magic trick went viral.
[Deepfake Tom Cruise] I’m going to show you some magic. It’s the real thing. I mean, it’s all the real thing.
Vitak: Only, it wasn’t the real thing. It wasn’t really Tom Cruise at all. It was a deepfake.
Matthew Groh: A deepfake is a video where an individual's face has been altered by a neural network to make an individual do or say something that the individual has not done or said.
Vitak: That is Matt Groh, a PhD student and researcher at the MIT Media lab. (Just a bit of full disclosure here: I worked at the Media Lab for a few years and I know Matt and one of the other authors on this research.)
Groh: It seems like there's a lot of anxiety and a lot of worry about deepfakes and our inability to, you know, know the difference between real or fake.