Deep Fake Reporting


Deep Fake Reporting

Published on Feb 10, 2020 by Ashok Kasilingam


More than 11000 athletes from almost every country in the world will be competing in 33 different sports for this year's Summer Olympics game in Tokyo. Think about the magnitude of the number of games and number of athletes involved here. How can a news reporting agency do justice for all the games by providing some sort of coverage for events of such magnitude?

To be clear, this is not a new phenomenon for the media agencies, they have been doing these type of mega media coverage for so long. But our expectation to be more inclusive, immersive and more detailed by having more coverage on all games has increased, so that no single well performing athlete's action is missed. So how does media agencies cope up with this challenge? “AI reporting” to the rescue.

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, we already had successful examples of “AI reporting”, where algorithms by skimming through the Olympics database searching for real-time results wrote short articles themselves summing up the sports events within minutes of the final whistle. Despite some of the writings by AI algorithms were still mechanical, needing improvements in some wording - the speed, volume and personalization of news were in ways previously unimaginable.

Take one step further - a fully automated, presenter-led sports news summary system which works in a similar way to deepfake videos. Deepfake videos have been doing the rounds for a while now - successful example includes the one on Barack Obama.

Deepfakes are so named because they use Deep Learning technology, that applies neural net simulation to massive data sets, to create a fake. AI effectively learns what a source face looks like at different angles in order to transpose the face onto a target, as if it were a mask.   By applying the Deepfake concept on an existing reporter of a given media company - now media companies can have the artificial reporter reading artificial reporting written by algorithms. This is happening in real time and no science fiction.

We are heading towards a bold and unprecedented new era in journalism.