U.S. intelligence officials expecting flood of ‘Deepfake' videos before 2020 election

The House Intelligence Committee Thursday held a hearing about computer-generated videos posted online.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the chairman of the Intelligence Committee, says the manipulated videos made possible by artificial intelligence algorithms, can be hard to detect and present a "nightmarish" scenario for the 2020 election.

"Not only may fake videos be passed off as real, but real information can be passed off as fake," said Schiff. "It is increasingly difficult for the public to determine what is true."

"Video editing has become very good and very inexpensive. What used to require the skills of a highly-trained professional editor can now be done by an amateur using sophisticated technology that they can get for little or no cost," said Tech Analyst Larry Magid.

The House Intel Committee shared a few examples of so-called "deepfakes", including a "face-swap" example from a U.C. Berkeley researcher where Senator Elizabeth Warren's face was put on a Saturday Night Live actor's body.

WATCH: Segment on deepfake videos with Washington Post tech reporter 

Another example was four computer-generated photos of people who are not real, but instead the very realistic faces were created with artificial intelligence.

Magid thinks technology companies need to review and improve their policies.

"I think Facebook and YouTube and other companies could develop technology that can analyze these videos and say, 'Hmm...this doesn't look right'. That doesn't mean ban them, but look at it further with humans to see if it may be fake," said Magid.

Magid also says part of the responsibility lies with social media users thinking about the source of the fabricated videos and not passing them on.