Culture

This Steve Buscemi/Jennifer Lawrence DeepFake Will Have You Fearing For The Future

Welcome to our horrifying dystopia!

DeepFakes are the terrifying new innovation set to change your life

It’s easy to dismiss DeepFakes as the newest quirk of our exceedingly online age; a strange little bit of technological wizardry that’s as harmless as an end of year Elf Yourself e-card.

But no, DeepFakes aren’t some innocent trend; they’re the terrifying future of our increasingly fractured socio-political landscape, as disquieting and deeply cursed as an end of year Elf Yourself e-card.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a world free of DeepFakes, they’re basically computer-generated fake photographs and videos. You teach a computer how to superimpose one face over another, and hey presto, before long the computer has learned the skill with eerie precision, and is producing increasingly sophisticated artificial images.

Surely the images can’t be that sophisticated, you might be thinking, to which I say, feast your eyes on this Steve Buscemi/Jennifer Lawrence mash-up:

Yep, that’s how good DeepFakes have gotten recently. That’s the thing with artificial intelligence systems: they can teach themselves automatically, so there’s no need for expensive and time-consuming human-led manual training.

You can just start a system learning, and it’ll do the rest of the terrifying, dystopian work all by itself.

Which, of course, is bad news for the rest of us.

DeepFakes represent a terrifying new way for people to be targeted online; videos can depict innocent human beings engaging in violent and criminal acts that they have never actually committed, and can thus become a sophisticated new tool for blackmailing.

Needless to say, they also threaten to further upset the already deeply-fucked up state of political discourse in 2019. Online extremists, already fuelled by a multitude of fake news stories, can be tricked with entirely fabricated videos of the politicians they love to hate undertaking all kinds of indecent acts.

Imagine, for example, how messy the 2020 American political race would be if completely fake videos of key candidates kicking babies (and worse) circulated amongst their political enemies.

And then, already haunted by that thought, get further upset by the fact that political analysts are already expecting that exact scenario to come true.

Welcome to the future, folks. Doesn’t it suck!