Snapchat lost more than $ 160 million on deepfake maker AI Factory for recent video functionality

You are officially in 2020 only when you have become familiar with deepfakes, these deceptive videos which replace one subject by another using artificial neural networks.

While some have already used this technology to deceive the masses, Snapchat recently spent more than $ 160 million on its own deepfake technology for hopefully less misleading purposes.

TechCrunch confirmed earlier reports from the Ukrainian website AIN.UA who first learned of Snapchat’s purchase of AI Factory for $ 166 million.

according to TechCrunchAI Factory technology has also been leveraged with Snapchat functionality introduced last month:

The company acquired AI Factory, a computer vision startup that Snap worked with to create Snapchat’s new Cameos animated selfie video feature, for an estimated price of around $ 166 million.

So what is the deep connection with Snapchat? TechCrunch explains:

Cameos, launched last month, allows you to take a selfie, which is then automatically “animated” and inserted into a short video. The selection of videos, currently around 150, is created by Snap, with the whole concept similar to that behind “deepfakes” – AI-based videos that seem “real” but are actually things that never really happened.

Cameos are probably just the first new feature of many to come to Snapchat with the acquisition of Deepfake Maker. TechCrunch notes that the company has taken its site offline following the acquisition, but AI Factory touts “several commercial AI solutions based on the recognition, analysis and processing of images and videos” on their account LinkedIn business.

Deepfake videos can be extremely misleading to the naked eye, so new technology has been a big concern in the age of propaganda. The exact way in which social networks should moderate and respond to malicious deepfakes has not yet been tested beyond a few incidents.

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