Deepfakes are terrifying and here's proof
Deepfake Videos : the possibilities are endless, which means, of course, that the potential for misuse is infinite. It’s terrifying. If you still can’t imagine it, here’s some video evidence.
Deepfakes - the latest rage on the internet. You might have come across it before, but just in case you haven’t, here’s a quick explainer. If you know what it is, scroll down to see video evidence of the multiple levels in which Deepfakes are a worrisome trend.
Let’s break it down - remember how, in the 90s, morphed images held the power to frighten and mystify us? We were just starting to discover the uses of Photoshop, and the whole idea that our images could be manipulated into something untrue, was beyond imagination.
Fast forward to 2019 : we’re experiencing a renaissance of this mystery, this fear, because now, morphed videos are a possibility. A deepfake is essentially a video that has been morphed, to put one face upon another. It uses artificial intelligence technology to map out the contours of a face in a video, and then to superimpose a new face on top of it. Synced with audio, this technology can produce videos, and can thus rewrite history, produce fake news, and pull the wool over all our eyes. The possibilities are endless, which means, of course, that the potential for misuse is infinite.
Asiaville has already reported on the darker side of Deepfakes, which was most starkly seen when an app called Deepnudes was introduced to the market.
While this technological invention is a leap forward in terms of graphic design, it can be hard to understand the implications of it. Think of it this way - any one of your videos could be picked up from the internet, to result in a morphed video of you saying something you would never even dream of. Evidence can be created out of thin air. You can be misrepresented on a global scale. Fake news can be disseminated with alarming ease. Imagine watching a video of a leader, or even a family member you trust, only to realise that those words aren’t theirs?
Deepfakes have made such a large wave upon arrival, that Axios has listed it as one of the top methods of misinformation in the 2020 election.
Misinformation, 2020 style:— Axios (@axios) August 6, 2019
1. Smarter bots
2. Audience building
3. Foreign ➡️ domestic
4. Shift to obscure platforms
5. Targeting influencers
6. Distorting candidates' backgrounds
7. Shifted focus on mainstream media
8. Deepfakes https://t.co/bpljsK2Q3I
The concern around deep fakes is so wide, that at a recent convention of the Democratic National Committee in the US, the Committee decided to use a Deepfake video to educate people about the new phenomenon. Citing their concern about deep fakes being a threat to the upcoming 2020 election, they played a video to the audience where the Committee chair, Tom Perez, was the victim, and the Security Chief, Bob Lord, was the “hacker”. Take a look at the video below:
Here's part of the deepfake of DNC chair @TomPerez that was shown here at #DEFCON yesterday. DNC security chief @boblord says this is a way to educate people about deepfakes so they can be on the lookout for them. pic.twitter.com/8BEE9z2MjE— Donie O'Sullivan (@donie) August 10, 2019
The process is so widespread, that late night shows are also using the technology to make a point. Can you figure out which late night show host has been edited on to Paul Rudd’s video?
Can you tell whose face has been edited onto Paul Rudd's body? A deepfake uses AI & ML to alter an original piece of content to create something that didn’t occur, and this common action of yours could be putting you at risk: https://t.co/2QqgNXanHf #deepfakes pic.twitter.com/XH139A3c5j— Data61 (@Data61news) August 13, 2019
Yeah. That’s a seamlessly edited Jimmy Fallon.
YouTube accounts solely focussed on creating deep fakes have now started to crop up, and the results couldn’t be creepier:
#CyberpunkisNow Youtube accounts like Dr.Fakenstein use Deepfakes as an online platform/performance medium.— ΜΔDΞRΔS (@hackermaderas) August 7, 2019
Reviewing uploads by these accounts can help w/ modeling the escalating capabilities of Deepfakes software/users.https://t.co/ReiICbilCL) https://t.co/h1eZiMpcYc… pic.twitter.com/xJ4DUb35fa
And sure, some people are using this technology for good… like fixing the 2019 version of The Lion King!
But the bottom line is, as Obama says, "We're entering an era in which our enemies can make anyone say anything at any point in time."
Except, that isn’t Obama. Jordan Peele just scared us more in this video than he did in Get Out and Us, put together.
And just so you see how effective this is, what if I told you that everything you knew about Forrest Gump was wrong, and that he was actually portrayed by Keanu Reeves?
Bill Hader is a whole genre of his own in Deepfakes. The comedian is well known for his spot on impersonations, so it was only a matter of time, before a whole library of his impersonation Deepfakes cropped up.
As if Tom Cruise wasn’t already creepy enough.
And this Deepfake video is probably the most iconic:
Here’s our takeaway - in a free media environment, Deepfakes have infinite potential to do damage. We know - you’re terrified. But on the bright side? You could be Elvis tomorrow!
A scene from Elvis (2019) a two screen video portrait of me as Elvis and him of me. The work invites audiences into a reimagined history where the King of Rock n Roll was actually a womxn. #nonbinaryelvis #deepfake #deepfakes— Libby Heaney (@LibbyHeaney) August 7, 2019
More here https://www. https://t.co/5IvREbgMMo pic.twitter.com/qaoonzAnXk