Google DNI Fund for fighting deepfakes!

It is a great pleasure and honor to announce that Athens Technology Center (ATC), our parent company, has been officialy awarded with funding from the 6th round of the Google DNI Fund, for a large-scale project on identifying deepfakes. For this project, which runs under the name “Digger”, we will join forces with two long-term and trustful partners: Deuthche Welle, Germany’s leading public broadcaster, and the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology (IDMT).

A few words on the project:

When we cannot trust our eyes and ears anymore then what can we trust?

Deepfakes are hyper-realistic video forgeries in which people say or do things that they’ve never actually said or done. The visual quality of deepfakes will soon become so flawless that it will be hard to make a judgement on veracity by mere visual verification. Digger’s solution is to approach the problem from a different side; using state-of-the-art audio forensics technologies to detect audio tampering in videos. The audio forensics toolkit will be integrated in a video verification application that is made available to verification experts.

What do the stakeholders say

In light of this new achievement, Nikos Sarris, Head of ATC’s Innovation Lab, the company’s dedicated R&D unit , stated “As a vital part of the company’s in-depth expertise in the news industry, for the last 7 years we have been focusing on developing tools that help media organizations to fight disinformation in a variety of aspects. Indicatively, we have developed Truly Media, to help users assess the reliability of social media content, we provide TruthNest, a solution for enhanced twitter account analytics, and we have been leading the formation of the European Observatory for fighting Disinformation.  This new funding will significantly support our goal to exploit state-of-the-art technology and turn innovative ideas into practical business solutions.”

On behalf of Deutche Welle (DW), Peter Limbourg, Director General, also stressed the importance of this project: “As a global media organisation constantly researching and verifying stories on social media platforms, DW has to deal with misinformation on a daily basis. Deepfakes are a new challenge. We are grateful for the opportunity of working on this project which will enhance our toolkit for verification of manipulated audio or video content. This will support our efforts to safeguard DW as a trustworthy source of information.”

Google Digital News Initiative, now in its 6th round, has awarded over €115m across Europe in an effort to help journalism thrive in the digital age.