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How to Detect AI-Generated Deepfake Videos in 2024

Maria Rodriguez

Maria Rodriguez

detect ai-generated deepfake videos

We are in 2024, and there is no doubt that deepfakes, which use sophisticated artificial intelligence to create hyper-realistic manipulations of video and audio content, have surged in both quantity and quality.

Similarly, deepfake-related phishing attacks and fraud incidents surged by over 3,000% last year.


According to a survey of fraud prevention and detection experts in various countries, 46% of respondents had experienced some kind of identity fraud, including 37% reporting voice deepfakes and 29% reporting video deepfakes.


With higher stakes than ever, learning to detect deepfake videos is crucial for individuals, organizations, and governments.

This article explores the telltale signs of deepfake videos. It provides practical techniques to detect AI-generated deepfake videos, enabling you to protect yourself and your business against attacks and deception.

Detecting Deepfake Videos: What to Look Out For

Deepfake technology makes distinguishing between genuine and manipulated videos increasingly and eerily challenging. Yet, even the most sophisticated deepfakes often leave subtle clues that can betray their manipulated origins. Let’s look at some of them.

1. Facial Transformations

Deepfake technology primarily focuses on altering or swapping faces in videos. This is because faces are central to human recognition and communication, making them the most impactful targets for manipulation. Therefore, to detect AI-generated deepfake videos, it’s wise to start from the face.

Many high-end deepfakes use sophisticated algorithms to blend two different faces – source and target – seamlessly.

Yet advanced, these transformations often leave subtle artifacts that can be detected by close observation or picked up by specialized software.

Particularly, watch out for inconsistencies in the skin tone blending and check for blurring at the edges of the face. Observe the eyes momentarily; unnatural eye movements can also be a major indicator of deepfake manipulation.


2. Facial Hair Transformations

Despite the advanced nature of deepfake technology, it often struggles with representing facial hair like beards and mustaches. This is complicated because facial hair varies in different people in terms of texture, density, growth patterns, and other features.

Therefore, deepfakes often produce unnatural-looking results when adding or removing facial hair. To detect AI-generated deepfake videos, check out the edges of the facial hair on a character’s face.

You might be looking at a manipulated video if the edges appear blurry or pixelated.

Other signs include unnatural hair movement (the hair or parts of it may move independently of the rest of the face), and unrealistic growth patterns. 

3. Consistency Across Dimensions

Deepfakes often struggle with maintaining consistency across various video dimensions, such as spatial coherence and temporal stability. The former refers to the logical continuity of objects and their movements within a video frame, while the latter relates to smooth transitions between consecutive frames.

When deepfakes struggle in any of these areas, you may notice jumps, flickering, or unnatural movements.

Sometimes, the inconsistency may disrupt the flow of the video, but it can also be subtle. So, try to watch with intent if you want to detect AI-generated deepfake videos successfully.

Check out the head movements and facial expressions, including the character(s)’ gaze direction, and ensure they align perfectly with body movements and the scene’s context.

If the body or the parts of it, such as the face, appear to be floating or otherwise moving unnaturally, that can be a reliable sign of manipulation.

4. Natural Physics

When you watch real videos, you’ll notice that there’s a certain way light reflects off the skin and also a certain way parts of the body cast shadows.

All these have to do with physics, which helps us explain how objects interact with each other and their environment.

Deepfakes often fail to accurately depict the physical interactions between objects and persons in a video, which should arouse your suspicion.

For instance, facial movement matching bodily movement is a crucial part of this. Depth and perspective are included too, and so on.

These discrepancies can often be spotted by careful examination or by using tools designed to analyze visual coherence.


5. Natural Lighting and Effects

Continuing with natural physics, lighting is a major part of what makes videos look natural.

Features such as directionality, harshness, color temperature, reflections, shadows, etc., contribute to our perceptions of light in video scenes and how we can judge them to be authentic.

For example, light’s direction, intensity, and color might not be consistent across the face and body. There might be unrealistic shadowing or highlights that don’t match the scene’s lighting conditions. These inconsistencies can be detected by scrutinizing the lighting patterns in the video.

Moreover, if you notice light coming from a direction it should not, then be suspicious. Or if color temperatures don’t match the time of the day, that would be a sign the video is AI-generated too.


6. Lip Syncing

Lip-syncing deepfakes focus on matching the mouth movements of a subject to an audio track, often creating the illusion that the person is saying something they never actually said.

While these can be very convincing at first glance, they can usually be detected through close analysis. Misalignment between audio and visual cues, such as slight delays or unnatural lip movements, can be giveaways.

Additionally, the synchronization might be perfect for the lips but fail to capture the subtle facial expressions and emotions that typically accompany natural speech. This can result in a robotic or emotionless appearance.

Questions to Ask

To detect AI-generated deepfake videos, ask yourself the questions below this paragraph.

This list is not meant to be crammed and recited whenever you see a video. However, you must have the general principles somewhere in your mind so you can look out for them when you’re suspicious.

  1. Does the face appear to be seamlessly integrated with the body and surroundings?
  2. Are there any inconsistencies in the movement or expression of the face?
  3. Do the facial expressions and movements look natural and consistent with the rest of the video?
  4. Are there any visible artifacts around the face, such as blurring or unnatural edges?
  5. Does the skin tone of the face match the rest of the body and the scene’s lighting conditions?
  6. Do the head movements align naturally with the body movements?
  7. Are there any abrupt changes in facial expressions that don’t match the context of the scene?
  8. Does the person’s gaze direction match the expected line of sight based on the context?
  9. Do the interactions between the face and the environment look physically accurate?
  10. Is the perspective of the face consistent with the background and other objects in the scene?
  11. Are the reflections, shadows, and highlights on the face natural and consistent with the scene?
  12. Is the face lighting consistent with the scene’s overall lighting?
  13. Are the shadows on the face natural, and do they move appropriately in the lighting conditions?
  14. Do the reflections in the eyes and on the skin appear realistic and match the lighting source?
  15. Does the facial hair (if any) look natural in terms of texture, density, and growth pattern?
  16. Are the edges of the facial hair sharp and well-defined, or do they appear blurry or pixelated?
  17. Does the facial hair move naturally with the face, or does it look static or out of sync?
  18. Are the lip movements in sync with the audio track?
  19. Do the facial expressions and emotions match the spoken words and tone of the audio?
  20. Is there any delay or misalignment between the audio and visual lip movements?
  21. Are there any abrupt changes in the quality or resolution of the video?
  22. Do the eyes blink naturally and at a normal rate, or do they seem unnaturally still or rapid?
  23. Are there any parts of the face or body that seem unusually static or too fluid compared to the rest of the video?

Protect Your Business from Manipulation

Deepfakes are only one of the ways cybercriminals and fraudsters can attack your business.

To learn more about protecting your organization against such malicious activities, read our blog regularly and follow StartUp Growth Guide on all platforms for prompt, informative updates tailored to executives and business leaders in all domains.

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