DeepFakeDetective wins Rep. Chip Roy’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 21st District

Rep. Chip Roy has named Kuval Pedarla from Westlake High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Texas’s 21st District.

When asked what inspired the creation of DeepFakeDetective, the student said, “I was inspired by the video of the Tom Cruise deepfake. I then did more research and learned that all deepfakes are not harmless and that they can cause major harm. I found that deepfakes are already being used to deceive businesses and that deepfakes are being considered to be a major category of emerging cybercrime. I also learned about AI and experimented with different ways to detect deep fakes. After creating my AI I decided to make a website that anyone around the world can use to detect deep fakes. I chose a website because it is accessible to anyone with any type of device. I hope that my website helps people anywhere detect deep fakes and also learn more about them so that we can spread the message of awareness about this threat and how to combat it as a society.”

The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.