What is Deep Fake?


Digitalisation & Technology, 16.10.2023

Deep fakes are a serious threat to society and business. On //next, we have talked about the risks several times. To counteract them, awareness measures, technological solutions, strict laws and the promotion of media competence are necessary, says Sima Krause from ERGO's Information Security Team.

What is Deep Fake? 

Deep Fake is a term used to describe technology that allows digital media content such as videos, images and audio recordings to be manipulated to appear genuine when in fact they are fake.

The term "Deep Fake" is derived from "Deep Learning" and "Fake" and refers to the use of artificial intelligence to create manipulated content.

Fields of application of Deep Fake

The technology is based on generative neural networks (GANs), which are able to recognise and reproduce certain patterns and features in data. In the case of Deep Fakes, GANs are used to change the appearance of faces in videos, imitate people's voices or even create completely fake content.

Common uses of deep fakes are

  • Face swap, 
  • Voice imitation,
  • Fake video creation,
  • Digital art and effects.

Deep Fakes can be misused to spread misinformation, violate individuals' privacy, create fake news and for other malicious purposes. It is therefore important to be aware of the dangers of deep fakes and to use techniques to detect and combat such content.

Risks of Deep Fakes

  1. Disinformation and manipulation:
    One of the most obvious risks of deep fakes is the spread of misinformation and manipulation. Politicians, celebrities and other influential people can easily become targets of deep fake attacks, where they are shown in seemingly genuine, scandalous or defamatory situations. This can undermine public trust in the truth and integrity of media and news.
  2. Fake News:
    Deep fakes are a potential weapon in the spread of fake news. By using credible faces and voices, they can make false stories and events believable and thus mislead the public. This can have a significant impact on political stability and social order.
  3. Violations of privacy:
    The technology behind Deep Fakes makes it possible to portray people in intimate or compromising situations without them ever having been there. This is a significant violation of privacy and can have a lasting impact on the lives of those affected.
  4. Fraud and identity theft:
    Deep fakes can be used for fraudulent purposes. Cyber criminals could use fake videos or audio recordings to impersonate someone else and gain access to sensitive information or cause financial damage.
  5. Political instability:
    Deep fakes could also increase political instability as they can be used to discredit political leaders and influence public opinion. This could lead to tensions and conflicts.
  6. Loss of trust:
    The spread of deep fakes can significantly undermine trust in media and digital content. People may become sceptical of everything they see and hear online, making communication and information sharing more difficult. 

More information on Deep Fakes

Information video of German BSI:


An example of a Deep Fake Video:


Further readings on //next

Deep Fakes: My digital twin is just giving my talk


Deep Fake? The potential of synthetic media


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