Hany Farid and I School Ph.D. Students Featured on PBS Nova

April 11, 2024
By: Berkeley School of Information
Hany farid in blue shirt taking to someone on his side
Hany Farid speaks about A.I. (PBS)

On the March 27th episode of PBS’s documentary series Nova titled “A.I. Revolution,” correspondent Miles O’Brien visited South Hall to discuss the dangers of deep fakes with Professor Hany Farid.

In one scene, Farid and O’Brien are joined by I School Ph.D. students Sarah Barrington and Justin Norman, who are part of Farid’s lab. In their conversation, Farid introduced a recent project where he and undergraduate intern Matyas Bohacek created an AI news anchor, pointing out how quick the process was. “We have lowered barriers to entry to manipulate reality,” he explained, “And when you do that, more and more people will do it.”

The team dove further into the topic of deepfakes and how they’re made, how they’ve affected real-life institutions such as the stock market, and just how easy it is to create deepfakes. With a single video uploaded to a voice cloning program, O’Brien was able to make it seem as though he knew Greek, Mandarin, and German. Farid even deepfaked O’Brien’s face into the movie, The Terminator, with the help of a recorded clip from a meeting the week prior. 

“We’re going to live in a world where we don’t know what’s real,” Sarah Barrington said. 

Stream the full episode, or catch the portion featuring Professor Farid at 37:20.

Hany Farid is a professor at the University of California, Berkeley with a joint appointment in electrical engineering & computer sciences and the School of Information. He specializes in the analysis of digital images and the detection of digitally manipulated images such as deepfakes. 


Getting the Whole Story: I School Professor and Stanford Computer Science Student Create AI News Anchor

In an episode of The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper, an AI-generated version of the news anchor, made by Professor Hany Farid and his undergrad intern Matyas Bohacek, was incorporated into the broadcast.