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Deepfake videos pose a threat, but 'dumbfakes' may be worse

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Posted at 4:32 PM, Jul 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-21 17:36:16-04

Sophisticated phony videos called deepfakes have attracted attention as a possible threat to election integrity. But a bigger problem for the 2020 U.S. presidential contest may be "dumbfakes." These are simpler and more easily unmasked bogus videos that are cheap and easy to produce.

Deepfakes require sophisticated artificial intelligence, audio manipulation and facial mapping technology. But dumbfakes can be made simply by varying the speed of video or selective editing. They don't require expert skill to create and can be convincing to the unsuspecting, which makes them a much more immediate worry.

The latest example is a slowed-down video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. The video, which made it seem like she was slurring her speech, was shared more than 2 million times. Experts say there's more to come.