FakeBuster to detect imposters during live video conferencing to hit market soon

The researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar in Punjab and Monash University, Australia said device can find out faces manipulated on social media to defame or make a joke of someone.


A unique detector named ‘FakeBuster’ that can identify imposters attending a virtual conference without anybody’s knowledge has been developed by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar in Punjab and Monash University, Australia.

The device can also find out faces manipulated on social media to defame or make a joke of someone, the team of researchers said.

The development is significant during this pandemic situation when most of the official meetings and work is being done online.

FakeBuster enables a user (organizer) to detect if another person's video is manipulated or spoofed during a video conferencing. That means the technique will find out if some imposter is attending a Webinar or virtual meeting on behalf of one of your colleagues by morphing his image with his own, the Union Education Ministry said in a release. 

 “Sophisticated artificial intelligence techniques have spurred a dramatic increase in manipulation of media contents. Such techniques keep evolving and become more realistic. That makes detection difficult which could have far reaching security implications,” said Dr Abhinav Dhall, one of the key members of a four-man team that developed the ‘FakeBuster’.

The other three members include Associate Prof Ramanathan Subramanian and two students Vineet Mehta and Parul Gupta.

“The tool has achieved over 90 per cent accuracy” Dr Dhall said, adding that the usage of manipulated media content in spreading fake news, pornography and other such online content has been widely observed with major repercussions. He said such manipulations have recently found their way into video-calling platforms through spoofing tools based on transfer of facial expressions.

"These fake facial expressions are often convincing to the human eye and can have serious implications. These real time mimicked visuals (videos) known as ‘Deepfakes’ can even be used during online examinations and job interviews," he added. 

This software platform is independent of video conferencing solutions and has been tested with Zoom and Skype applications, the ministry said.

The Deepfake detection tool-‘FakeBuster’ works in both online and offline modes. Since the device can presently be attached with laptops and desktops only “we are aiming to make the network smaller and lighter to enable it to run on mobile phones/devices as well”, informed Associate Prof. Subramanian. He said the team is working on using the device to detect fake audios also.

The team claims that this software platform ‘FakeBuster’ is one of the first tools to detect imposters during live video conferencing using DeepFake detection technology. The device has already been tested and would hit the market soon.

First Published:May 19, 2021, 1:49 p.m.

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