The year 2019 has seen a rise in the usage of deepfakes and it’s a scary thing. In case you don’t know, deepfake is a technique for human image synthesis based on artificial intelligence. It has been around for quite a while now but this year saw a rapid rise in deepfakes forcing tech giants to take steps to curb the usage and make sure they aren’t used to promote fake news.

Last month, Microsoft and Facebook partnered up to fight deepfakes and now Amazon has decided to join as well. In a blog post published today, Amazon called for action to fight against deepfakes with a generous contribution of $1 million in AWS credits to the Deepfake Detection challenge (DFDC). Amazon is also working with DFDC partners to host complicated datasets for deepfake detection on the cloud service using its Amazon S3 scalable infrastructure. Amazon will be providing researchers and academics up to $10,000 and they can use the Amazon Machine Learning solutions lab to get started.

The Deepfakes Detection Challenge steering committee is sharing the first 5,000 videos of the dataset with researchers working in this field. The group will collect feedback and host a targeted technical working session at the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) in Seoul beginning on October 27, 2019. Following this due diligence, the full data set release and the launch of the Deepfakes Detection Challenge will coincide with the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) this December.

To support participants in this endeavor, AWS will also be providing access to Amazon ML Solutions Lab experts and solutions architects to help provide technical support and guidance to contestants to help teams get started in the challenge. The Amazon ML Solutions Lab is a dedicated service offering for AWS customers that provides access to the same talent that built many of Amazon’s machine learning-powered products and services. These Amazon experts help AWS customers utilize machine learning technology to build intelligent solutions that to address some of the world’s toughest challenges like predicting famine, identifying cancer faster, and expediting assistance to areas hard hit by natural disasters. Amazon ML Solutions Lab experts will be paired with Challenge participants to provide assistance throughout the competition.

– Amazon

While deepfakes open up a lot of opportunities, they are also dangerous and have to be monitored to make sure they are not used to promote illegal activities.