A deep fake can indeed duplicate a face, but modern iPhones cannot be unlocked by a picture because they use depth sensors as well as the camera to look at you.

An infrared dot projector covers your face with invisible points of light that are then examined by an infrared camera to figure out the 3D shape. This debunks the movie Red Notice when it uses an iPad to mimic a face and unlock a door – unless the security of a billionaire’s vault is worse than his iPhone!

No, you need something like the sci-fi tech you see in Mission Impossible: 3D-printed masks that have the right shape and appearance.

Read more:

Asked by: Arthur Simmons

To submit your questions email us at questions@sciencefocus.com (don't forget to include your name and location)


Dr Peter Bentley is a computer scientist and author who is based at University College London. He is the author of books including 10 Short Lessons in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics and Digital Biology: How nature is transforming our technology and our lives.