'Robert Pattinson' TikTok account is latest unlikely celebrity profile raising questions

Published April 25, 2022


Yahoo, NBC News and numerous other national media sites reported on the suspected deepfake TikTok account of Robert Pattinson and quoted Siwei Lyu, SUNY Empire Innovation Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, who researches digital forgeries and machine learning.

Lyu believes the account is impersonating Pattinson with high-quality deepfake technology. "The high level of realism of those videos are pretty startling, but I'm not surprised," Lyu said. He added that deepfake videos tend to be "low quality to hide particular artifacts," or features that indicate facial warping. The story noted that Lyu and his students are working on programs to detect digitally manipulated content, like an algorithm that can pick up on features that humans may not catch.

Read the NBC News story here. It was widely reported on other news outlets, including Yahoo News, The Street, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, San Luis Obispo Tribune, .com

and other sites reported on a deepfake video of Bill Gates and quoted Siwei Lyu, professor of computer science and engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and director of the UB Media Forensic Lab. “Deepfakes can create illusions of an individual’s presence and activities that did not occur in reality,” he said. “As such, deepfakes can escalate the scale and danger of online disinformation. That is the reason why they can be very dangerous.”