Cork Teen Wins BT Young Scientist With Deepfake Detection Project

Gregory Tarr - Image: BT Young Scientist - ScreenGrab

A 17-year-old Cork student has won the BT Young Scientist competition with a project that detects deepfake videos on the internet.

Gregory Tarr, who is a pupil at Bandon Grammar School, wrote over 150,000 lines of code to create the tool.

Tarr will take home the top prize of €7,500 and the BTYSTE perpetual trophy for his project.

Tarr impressed the judges with his project using a sophisticated artificial intelligence software program that can efficiently detect deepfake media with state-of-the-art accuracy.

The software, made significant improvements on speed and efficiency when compared to the current best model without sacrificing its ability to accurately detect the fake.

This tool could potentially be deployed at scale to filter out deepfake media making the internet a safer place.

Chair of the technology judging panel Leonard Hobbs from Trinity College Dublin said: “The winner this year demonstrated an expertise in computer science which was well beyond his years. The level of coding he deployed in developing the extremely complex program which detects fake videos, was guided by his deep understanding of the state of the art of this leading edge technology.

The judges have been continually impressed by Gregory’s projects at the BT Young Scientist competition over the past few years and they were delighted that he had progressed to winning the top award this year.”

Tarr will also represent Ireland at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists, scheduled to take place in Salamanca Spain in September 2021.