For the uninitiated, ‘Deepfake‘ is a technology that uses machine learning ai to “combine and superimpose existing images and videos onto source images or videos using a technique known as generative adversarial network“. [source]
Think of it as ‘faceswap for video’, with applications ranging from the banal and harmless to malicious and dangerous (e.g., fake news, hoaxes, conspiracies).
To get a sense of the technology, check out the videos below by Ctrl Shift Space, who uses deepfake technology to create videos for entertainment but to also raise awareness that you can’t believe everything you see online. People know images can be doctored, and now video can with relative ease.
In the embedded videos below, we see comedian and actor Bill Hader on various talk shows doing his impersonations of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Pacino, and Tom Cruise. Only this time, deepfake technology has been used to subtly superimpose the actors he’s impersonating onto Hader’s own face while he does the impersonation. The end result is something totally surreal and bizarre.