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HomeCANADAVancouver Tech Leaders launch New Detection Service to identify Deepfake Content

Vancouver Tech Leaders launch New Detection Service to identify Deepfake Content

Verifiction founders Praveen Varshney (second from left) and Charles Gadalla (right) believe their new AI technology can provide protection for the next generation. With them (from left to right) are their children, Aneesh and Jaiya Varshney, and Shannon and Troy Gadalla.

VANCOUVER, MARCH 27, 2024 – A chance meeting 18 years ago of two dads dropping off their kids for kindergarten has started a technology journey that may change the face of protection against online harm.

The dads are Praveen Varshney and Charles Gadalla, partners in a new company called Verifiction (link to website), based in Vancouver, which uses 17 different algorithms monitoring factors from blood flow to light sensitivity to determine the likelihood of content being real or fake.

“I can’t believe that a guy I met dropping my kids off at school would today be my partner in one of the most exciting business ventures launching in our city in the coming weeks,” said Mr. Varshney, Principal Partner of Varshney Capital, which specializes in investing in technology and social impact ventures.

Mr. Gadalla, who is CEO of Verifiction, previously worked in senior product development capacities with tech companies around the world, including seven years with SAP.

“I think we found something that perfectly aligns with new efforts by the government of Canada that were announced on February 26 to protect people from the serious threat of deepfakes,” said Mr. Varshney, an FCPA and graduate of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

Digital images, voices, videos, or text manipulated or generated by artificial intelligence have recently become widespread. Celebrities, businesses, and students are increasingly targeted by those who use this technology for extortion, manipulation, or reputation damage. Verifiction, which is a registered member of the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity (C2PA), offers the first service that will provide the ability to fully address cases involving non-consensual private videos without additional tools or systems.

Collaborating with international partners in India, Germany and the United States, Verifiction has created a team of world-leading computer scientists that are meeting the growing threat of deepfakes head-on.

“We offer a 95 per cent accuracy score on every video,” said Mr. Gadalla, a graduate of the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. “We are now prepared to provide it to those who need it most.”

Mr. Varshney and Mr. Gadalla are now working with universities and global news agencies to find early adopters who will utilize the project and promote it to others. One of the first people they spoke to was Kate White, Senior Associate Dean, Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Sustainability at the UBC Sauder School of Business.

“Departments like mine are working every day to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion. Hopefully this technology will help bring that closer,” said Professor White. “What I was particularly impressed with was the potential of Verifiction to give consumers a real sense of security of their identity.”

Mr. Varshney and his spouse have two children, Aneesh, an entrepreneurship student at the Sauder School of Business, and Jaiya, a recent Sauder graduate. Mr. Gadalla and his spouse’s children, Shannon and Troy, are both in high school. Just like their relationship, the dads’ goal for Verifiction begins and ends with their children.

“One thing that Praveen and I agree on is we would do anything for our kids,” said Mr. Gadalla.

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