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AI Singapore Launches Competition to Combat Fake Media

AI Singapore launches the “Trusted Media Challenge”, a five-month-long competition aimed at attracting the Artificial Intelligence (AI) community to design and test out AI models and solutions that will easily detect audio-visual fake media, where both video and audio modalities may be modified. The initiative – targeted at AI enthusiasts and researchers from around the world – aims to also strengthen Singapore’s position as a global AI hub by incentivising the involvement of international contributors, and sourcing innovation ideas globally.

Fake media technology or deepfake tech is becoming mainstream, delivering benefits and yet posing a variety of threats. The technology has allowed movie producers to manage videos and dialogues without expensive reshoots, facilitated professional training, or has been used to protect the identities of those being persecuted, among other applications. At the other end of the spectrum, deepfakes are used to sow mistrust and seed scamming, making them an existential threat to societies today. If left unchecked, fake media risks becoming a serious national security concern.

Participants in this challenge will have access to datasets of original and fake media videos with audio. The challenge is conducted in partnership with the country’s top news agencies who have provided about 800 real video clips including news and interviews. In addition, custom videos were collected from consented actors. In total, there are approximately 4,000 real clips and 8,000 fake video clips for the participants to train and test their models on.

The challenge is open to researchers and industry professionals from around the globe, or anyone interested and/or experienced in machine learning, deep learning, computer vision, especially in media forensics. Participants need to build AI models that estimate the probability that any given video is fake. Participating teams can submit their solutions – codes and models – via the challenge platform provided by AI Singapore. This platform will automatically rank the submissions on the leader board.

The winner that emerges from this challenge stands to earn prize money of S$100,000 and a start-up grant of S$300,000 to develop their AI solutions further, using Singapore as the development base. Prizes and start-up grants will be awarded to the top three winners. The total prize money amounts to S$700,000 (about US$500,000).

As reported by OpenGov Asia, the adoption of AI tools is growing in Singapore following the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of Singapore’s IT professionals said that AI tools are now more advanced and better fit the needs of businesses compared with two to three years ago, according to a survey. The study also found that a lack of AI skills and increasing data complexity were the top challenges faced. These challenges, exacerbated by financial constraints worsened by the pandemic, led to one in five IT professionals in Singapore saying that the AI projects in their company have either been halted or slowed down.

About one-third of all companies surveyed have implemented AI; 45% have not but are looking to do so, the study shows. AI front runners include firms in sectors such as banking, e-commerce and logistics. Some of the AI implementations rolled out after the pandemic hit include those relating to:

Employee productivity

  • Conversational chatbots answer employee queries on medical claims or annual leave matters. Resume robots sort, screen and rank job applications, at least during the first round of the hiring process.
  • Natural language processing capabilities in Web collaboration tools allow for automated notetaking and summarisation.

Data security

  • AI helps tech support staff spot problems before they happen, such as when employees have not applied security patches to their computers.
  • AI allows for the quick detection and blocking of unknown malware and threats based on Web traffic patterns.

Supply chain and logistics

  • Recommendation engines advise on supply options that deliver the best margins.
  • Optimised route planning based on distance and traffic conditions helps to minimise delivery costs.

Data processing

  • Processing capabilities for unstructured data such as drawings, handwritten notes and images allow, say, financial planning agents to recommend the best insurance policies or savings plans to clients.
  • These capabilities also allow the deluge of non-standardised data elements in paper-based trade documents issued by companies to be processed speedily.

Sales

  • Recommendation engines advise bank users on the right credit card for them based on their lifestyle and transaction history.
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