Deepfake is a combination of the phrases “deep learning” and “fake”. Deepfakes first emerged on the Internet in late 2017, powered by an innovative new deep learning method known as generative adversarial networks (GANs).

According to Merriam-Webster, the term is typically used in reference to a video that has been edited using an algorithm to replace the person in the original video with someone else (especially a public figure) in a way that seems authentic. 

Although this technology has been available at academic institutions since the 1990s, and later used by amateurs in online communities, it garnered widespread attention for its use in celebrity pornographic videos and revenge porn. Today, deepfakes are becoming increasingly prevalent in fake news, hoaxes, and financial fraud.