“In the short term, detection will be reasonably effective,” says Subbarao Kambhampati, a professor of computer science at Arizona State University. “In the longer run, I think it will be impossible to distinguish between the real pictures and the fake pictures.”
The longer run may come as early as later this year, in time for the presidential election.
In August 2019, a team of Israeli researchers announced a new technique for making deepfakes that creates realistic videos by substituting the face of one individual for another who is really speaking. Unlike previous methods, this one works on any two people without extensive, iterated focus on their faces, cutting hours or even days from previous deepfake processes without the need for expensive hardware.