Deepfakes on the fuel pump frighten information safety consciousness


Dozens of millions of Americans filling their gas tanks this week could be scared at the pump this season.

No, it's not about gas prices. More likely to expect a spooky campaign about privacy issues to appear on the screens of 24,000 GSTV (Gas Station TV) locations across the country.

The scene shows the friendly face of the TV presenter at the pump, which transforms into the malicious face of a man who eerily warns about the digital data collection.

The stunt, in which GSTV host Maria Menounos's face was replaced with deepfake technology, is part of a new online privacy campaign that also includes a hair-raising zoom video experience that puts viewers at the center of a horror movie-like experience via her website Plot represents webcam.

The entire project is a belated sequel to a 2011 viral stunt titled "Take This Lollipop," a Facebook app that intrigued a more innocent generation of social media users with videos of the same menacing character that featured data about every viewer recited using the data collected by Facebook -Share practices.

Creators Jason Zada, a film director, and Jason Nickel, a developer, said they were hoping to reflect the success of that effort and awareness of Facebook's data policy, but they waited for the right cause.

"We only took our time because we really felt we had to come up with the right idea with the right technology at the right time," said Zada.

"It just so happened that a pandemic made this possible through this massive shift in technology and social communication – everyone started using Zoom," he continued. So the question was, 'How can we use this current time in society in technology to our advantage and take something we all rely on and kind of twist it and turn it around a bit?' "

The result is a roughly 4-minute zoom video experience that recognizes your face and puts the viewer in a zoom call with three actors, two of whom – spoilers ahead – of an unknown entity in a thrilling manner in front of an augmented reality character being chased away appears in the background of the viewer's own space. The remaining participant then turns out to be the trademark of the campaign.

Zada and Nickel said the original goal was to fake every viewer in real time, but they couldn't get the technology in time for the launch. Instead, they decided to include the deepfake element in a deal with GSTV and Menounos to hijack their regular segment with a threatening message.

“The general idea was that Halloween was mostly canceled for a lot of people. Even brands have turned their backs on Halloween this year. And it seemed like the perfect opportunity, ”said Zada.

"But you mix that with an election year where there is this deep falsification, there is AI, there is the hacking of the elections, there is just the hacking of general politics," he added. “It was interesting to see how we can make deepfake more consumer friendly, and show people who say, 'I could access you – not your data anymore – but I could access you, I could recreate you, I could you will. & # 39; "

A recent survey of researchers identified deepfakes as the biggest threat from AI cybercrime. Its nefarious potential extends beyond creating fake messages from public figures – an often discussed threat that, according to YouTube deep fake tracking platform Sensity, has not yet emerged in any significant way beyond YouTube gags. Other problem areas include identity theft, blackmail through video call fraud, and its most common use as a source of non-consensual pornography.

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Jeffrey Rabinowitz