An Examination of Fairness of AI Models for Deepfake Detection

Recent studies have demonstrated that deep learning models can discriminate based on protected classes like race and gender. In this work, we evaluate bias present in deepfake datasets and detection models across protected subgroups. Using facial datasets balanced by race and gender, we examine three popular deepfake detectors and find large disparities in predictive performances across races, with up to 10.7% difference in error rate between subgroups. A closer look reveals that the widely used FaceForensics++ dataset is overwhelmingly composed of Caucasian subjects, with the majority being female Caucasians. Our investigation of the racial distribution of deepfakes reveals that the methods used to create deepfakes as positive training signals tend to produce "irregular" faces - when a person's face is swapped onto another person of a different race or gender. This causes detectors to learn spurious correlations between the foreground faces and fakeness. Moreover, when detectors are trained with the Blended Image (BI) dataset from Face X-Rays, we find that those detectors develop systematic discrimination towards certain racial subgroups, primarily female Asians.

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