SJSU Student Takes on Deepfakes and Wins Big in 2020 Deepfake Education Competition

Two Bay Area students created deepfake educational videos to win cash prizes

San Jose, CA – October 27, 2020 –  Winners were announced today for the recent 2020 Deepfake Education Competition from the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation and the CITRIS Policy Labs at the University of California. Katy Jiang, a master’s student in the Software Engineering Program at San Jose State University took home first place with her creative and informative three-minute submission. Coming in second place and receiving $1,000 for her submission was Rachel Moy, a Sophomore at UC Berkeley studying Economics and Sustainability. The goal of the competition was to encourage and challenge students of all levels to make engaging video content to help educate the general public on deepfakes.

“By making this video, I want to deliver the message that the Deepfake itself can’t create problems,” said first place winner, Katy Jiang, “it’s the people behind it. Therefore, we are all responsible for using it in the right way.”

Second place winner Rachel Moy talked about the growth of deepfakes overall as an issue. “In a world where emerging technology is on the rise, the creation and influence of deepfakes are significantly ever-growing,” said Moy. “I participated in this competition because it allowed me to integrate my passion for video editing with my interest in deepfakes—and how it can be easily fabricated to spread misinformation.”

According to a March 2019 Pew Research Center Survey, 90% of Americans believe that altered videos or images lead to confusion in public discourse. “Deepfakes”—the use of AI to generate deceptive visual media depicting real people saying or doing things they did not—pose serious threats to democracy.

“The technology community is developing critical tools for mitigating the damage caused by deepfakes,” said Brian Brennan, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, State & Federal Coalitions, “but there are no technology solutions that will obviate the need for an informed and engaged public. The Deepfake Education Competition was a win on two fronts:  it engaged talented young people on the problem of deepfakes and left us with valuable resources for educating the public on the issue.”

The Leadership Group Foundation partner CITRIS Policy Labs was even more direct on the need for deepfake education. “Public education is critical to mitigating harm from malicious deepfakes,” said Brandie M. Nonnecke, PhD Founding Director, CITRIS Policy Lab & Director, CITRIS Tech for Social Good Program, UC Berkeley. “The more the public understands about deepfakes, the more likely they’ll be able to spot and critically evaluate them. The winning videos of the Deepfake Education Competition provide the public with a solid understanding of what deepfakes are, how to spot them, and strategies to mitigate harmful effects.” –

The two winning videos can be viewed here.

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group:
The Leadership Group is an organization of more than 340 of Silicon Valley’s most dynamic and accomplished companies. Founded by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, the SVLG has worked to address issues that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley for more than 40 years. SVLG members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and contribute more than $3 trillion to the worldwide economy. For more information, visit

Media Contact: Pam Kelly
(408) 483-2410