Difficult to edit videos containing conversations of multiple people, says cyber activist

(NST) – The process of editing and modifying videos containing conversations involving more than one person is difficult to do even with artificial intelligence (AI)-based applications.

Malaysia Cyber Consumer Association (MCCA) president Siraj Jalil said it would be impossible if the video also had a lot of difficult movements.

Although the world is now moving towards AI technology, he said, such editing and modification processes require the skills of a truly expert individual, but not through existing applications such as the ones available on mobile phones.

“Previously there was a modified video of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking in Japanese during a conference.

“It (editing using AI) is easy to do in a situation where Dr Mahathir is standing and speaking, where the recording is modified using the same voice without much movement so it is considered authentic by some parties.

“However, in the case involving a video of a conversation between two individuals, this process is very difficult because there is a lot of movement and will be affected by dubious elements if it is said to be edited,” he told Berita Harian.

Recently, a video clip of a video call resembling former Community Communications Department (J-KOM) director-general Datuk Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff and his staff Abdul Wahab Abdul Kadir Jilani went viral on social media, a few hours after the J-KOM chief resigned from the position.

Mohammad Agus claimed that it was not his voice but admitted that he was the man in the video.

The duo, in a press conference, claimed that while the video was authentic, the audio had been manipulated, suggesting that it was done by someone they identified as “Mr. H” before it was circulated.

Siraj said that in any high-tech editing process in line with AI, it needs to be done in a computer through paid software that is subscribed to on a monthly basis to ensure the best outcome.

Among the software that can be used for this process are HeyGen, ElevenLabs and Faceswap, but their reach is still not able to modify video recordings as in acts involving more than one person.

Commenting on whether a video recording can be traced back if deleted, Siraj said that it can be done using certain software.

“We can recover videos that have been deleted if the deletion process is done between three to four days and all documents or files in storage via mobile phones or computers do not overlap with the number of documents entered,” he said.

Regarding the viral video, Siraj advised the public to be careful because it risks causing a chain of guilt to spread if the video is not true.

“Whether the recording is true or not, people should be smart users of social media and avoid further sin.

“Let the authorities investigate whether the conversation is genuine or otherwise,” he said.