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Fighting Deepfakes on the Blockchain, With Livepeer CEO Doug Petkanics

Building trust in media in world with deepfakes means we need new ways to verify what we're seeing.

Quick question: How do you know it’s really me in this podcast video? After all, with AI services like Synthesia and ElevenLabs ready to clone my likeness and voice in mere minutes, it’s more than a possibility these days.

Besides obvious artifacts you might see in an AI-generated video, there’s the concept of content provenance, which in practice means a set of technical standards that imagery must adhere to so it can include metadata — nonvisible information that reveals whether an image was created by AI or not — and what modifications there were before it hit your eyeballs.

The thing is, for content provenance to work, you need everyone in the chain — from camera to website — to pay attention to it. So it turns out infrastructure plays a big role, and that’s what I wanted to to talk to Livepeer CEO Doug Petkanics about on The Media Copilot podcast.

Livepeer is a decentralized video platfom, which has an ace up its sleeve with respect to content provenance: the blockchain. By using the same tech that powers cryptocurrencies, Livepeer aims to create a cost-effective, scalable, and reliable way to both process video and label it properly. Its new AI subnet means the network now supports AI-generated content, including tools like OpenAI's video generator, Sora.

Doug and I explored the critical issue of content authenticity in the age of AI. As deepfakes and AI-generated media become more prevalent, this is obviously a growing challenge. Doug explained how Livepeer's blockchain tech can help maintain a healthy media ecosystem by providing verifiable “attestations” of content creation and modification, helping ensure that audiences can trust the what they’re looking at.

If you enjoy this conversation, I’d encourage you to follow the show on Substack, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or any other podcast app, really. Also, we’d appreciate it if you’d leave a rating or review — it really does help the show. And if you’re on YouTube, please like the video and subscribe to the channel.

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The Media Copilot
The Media Copilot
Weekly converatsions with journalists, media executives, and fascinating people on how AI is changing media, journalism, and the news.