Dealing with deepfakes – an interdisciplinary examination of the state of research and implications for communication studies.
Godulla, A., Hoffmann, C. P., & Seibert, D. (2021). Dealing with deepfakes – an interdisciplinary examination of the state of research and implications for communication studies. SCM Studies in Communication and Media, 10(1), 72-96. DOI: 10.5771/2192-4007-2021-1-72
Using artificial intelligence, it is becoming increasingly easy to create highly realistic but fake video content – so-called deepfakes. As a result, it is no longer possible always to distinguish real from mechanically created recordings with the naked eye. Despite the novelty of this phenomenon, regulators and industry players have started to address the risks associated with deepfakes. Yet research on deepfakes is still in its infancy. This paper presents findings from a systematic review of English-language deepfake research to identify salient discussions. We find that, to date, deepfake research is driven by computer science and law, with studies focusing on deepfake detection and regulation. While a number of studies address the potential of deepfakes for political disinformation, few have examined user perceptions of and reactions to deepfakes. Other notable research topics include challenges to journalistic practices and pornographic applications of deepfakes. We identify research gaps and derive implications for future communication studies research.