In an effort to combat online misinformation, software company V7 Labs has created a new Google Chrome extension that is capable of detecting fake profile pictures created by artificial intelligence (AI). The company claims that its software, which also relies on AI technology, has a 99.28% rate of accuracy to determine whether a supposed person on social media and so on actually does not exist.
Fake businesses and profiles are the usual go-tos for malicious individuals, and the existence of tools that enable them to create a fake person can greatly add more depth to their sham. Basically, the latter can lead investigators alike on a wild goose chase, making them search for a person that never existed in the first place.
Such technologies are indeed available as demonstrated by online artificial portrait generator This Person Does Not Exist, which operates on an AI system powered by the NVIDIA StyleGAN neural network. On a somewhat related note, Chinese news agency Xinhua also utilised a similar tech back in 2018, where it introduced to the world its first ever AI news anchor.
V7 Labs founder Alberto Rizzoli hopes that the awareness of fake profiles, along with its software will enable users to prevent themselves from falling prey to online scams and misinformation. “There’s a lot of misleading content on social media these days and one of its propagators are fake profiles,” he said while demonstrating the company’s software in a video published on Loom.
He also noted that some photos, especially those generated by the website mentioned earlier, will exhibit noticeable discrepancies including oddly shaped pupils and awkwardly placed earrings that outs itself as a fake. As pointed out by This Person Does Not Exist – which also educates users of the awareness of artificially generated persons – a neural network occasionally makes mistakes, hence why artefacts such as an incorrectly bent pattern, a strange hair colour and so on will appear.
However, there are also portraits that have been generated by more advanced software that are able to avoid the typical flaws. Worryingly, these are harder for humans to identify their legitimacy. Rizzoli assures that V7 Labs’ software is able to quickly determine whether such profile pictures are fake in a matter of clicks, though he notes that it is still unable to detect high-quality deepfakes that are featured in videos for the time being.
Those interested may try the software and Google Chrome extension by installing it via the browser’s official webstore. In terms of privacy, V7 Labs states that the Fake Profile Detector plugin will not collect or use any of its user’s data.