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Teen Awarded For Creating A Better Deepfake Detector And Hopefully Helping To Save The Internet

Screenshot/YouTube

People are rightly concerned with where deepfake technology is going, but an amazing teen in Ireland won an award that better equips tech companies in sniffing out deepfakes.

17-year-old Gregory Tarr won the 57th BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition, the presenting organization announced via press release this past Friday. The STEM competition involves students from throughout Ireland.

Tarr’s project, called “Detecting state-of-the-art deepfakes,” utilized what the BTYSTE team called “a sophisticated artificial intelligence software program that can efficiently detect DeepFake media with state-of-the-art accuracy.”

“The software, which is over 150,000 lines of code, made significant improvements on speed and efficiency when compared to the current best model without sacrificing its ability to accurately detect the fake,” the release stated. “This tool could potentially be deployed at scale to filter out DeepFake media making the internet a safer place.”

Leonard Hobbs from Trinity College Dublin, the judging panel’s chair, said that Tarr “demonstrated an expertise in computer science which was well beyond his years. The level of coding he deployed in developing the extremely complex program which detects fake videos, was guided by his deep understanding of the state of the art of this leading edge technology.”

He added that Tarr, who has competed in prior years, continually impressed the judges from year and year, and the panel was delighted that he’d finally won the top award.

He’s now set to represent Ireland in a European competition to be held this coming fall.

“I’ve been working on AI for maybe four years and it’s being trained to look at vast amounts of data,” Tarr told EuroNews for an article that ran on Monday. “It’s a concept that is currently being done, but mine is ten times faster.”

He added. “It’s amazing how few people understand how prevalent deepfakes are in current media.”

Lead image: Screenshot/YouTube.

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Written by Phil West