DFBlue and the Harvard Institute of Quantitative Social Science

Nov 22nd, 2019 by DFBlue

DFBlue announces a partnership with Harvard University in a research study on the psychological effects of political deepfakes ahead of the upcoming 2020 U.S. elections.

Soubhik Barari, a Ph.D. Research Affiliate at the Harvard Institute of Quantitative Social Science is conducting an experimental study with co-PIs Christopher Lucas, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, and Kevin Munger, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Social Data Analytics at Penn State University, to determine the effects of different deepfake videos on political beliefs. Drawing on recent research in political science and psychology, the study attempts to rigorously measure a variety of attitudinal effects of deepfake exposure through a series of online survey experiments.

These deepfake videos are produced by DFBlue for the purposes of this study and are nearly indistinguishable from fake videos.

Using state of the art computer vision and AI techniques, DFBlue creates deepfake videos by training a computer to “learn” how to transform the face of an actor to the face of a politician such as Bernie Sanders or Joe Biden. This computationally expensive process is carried out on GPUs running in the cloud with data sourced from multiple locations such as publicly available interviews and photographs.


Soubhik Barari (sbarari 📧 g.harvard.edu)

Sid & Rashi @ DFBlue

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