Chinese tech giant Tencent’s cloud services provider, Tencent Cloud, has launched a new digital human production platform. Now, users are able to create deepfake videos of any individual based on a three-minute video clip and 100 sentences of voice material. Leveraging Tencent’s in-house artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, the deepfake generator can recreate convincing fake videos of individuals. Tencent’s technology is becoming a concern as scammers are the ones benefitting the most from deepfake videos. This technology has been increasingly adopted by scammers to mislead investors by impersonating prominent figures.
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In 2022, Tesla CEO Elon Musk cautioned against the rising number of deepfake videos impersonating him. Given Musk’s influence in the cryptocurrency market, scammers used his figure to promote cryptocurrency scams. According to media outlet Jiemian, Tencent Cloud’s service can analyze and train itself on three-minute videos and 100 voice clips. Through its software, the service is capable of producing a convincing deepfake video within 24 hours. The deepfake service currently has a price of ~1,000 yuan or $145. So, for only $145, anyone can get their hands on a deepfake video.
The Register, another news media outlet, reportedly confirmed the development with Tencent. Additionally, they noted that the service could generate deepfakes in both Chinese and English. The platform offers the creation of digital humans in five styles: 3D realistic, 3D semi-realistic, 3D cartoon, 2D real person, and 2D cartoon.
Tencent plans to use the service for hosting live-streamed infomercials; these would mainly target the Chinese demographic. Jiemian’s report suggests that other potential applications for deepfakes may include representing “doctors, lawyers, and other professionals.” Meanwhile, other Chinese tech giants, such as Huawei and Baidu, are currently developing their own generative large language AI tools to compete with market leader ChatGPT.
AI Technology Could Have Applications In The Blockchain Industry
Chat-based large language models can have significant applications in the blockchain industry. This would include auditing smart contract codes or recommending crypto trading strategies for maximum profits. While the technology offers many benefits, the potential misuse of AI is concerning. Taking deepfakes as an example, as AI evolves public trust might decrease because of the spread of misinformation. However, if AI is regulated, then we might see some healthy development happening in the sector.
The rapid development and accessibility of deepfake technology underscore the need for stringent regulations. As for every industry, ethical guidelines are necessary to mitigate potential harm. As Tencent Cloud and other tech giants continue to advance AI-driven tools, balancing innovation with customer safety is crucial. Without these two elements, we cannot ensure that the technology is being used for the greater good.