This Steve Buscemi/Jennifer Lawrence DeepFake Will Have You Fearing For The Future
Welcome to our horrifying dystopia!
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.
— CNN Business (@CNNBusiness) January 28, 2019
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.
I've gone down a black hole of the latest DeepFakes and this mashup of Steve Buscemi and Jennifer Lawrence is a sight to behold pic.twitter.com/sWnU8SmAcz
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) January 29, 2019
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.
For those interested, the above Lawrence-Buscemi video was made by an individual who used a I5-8500K processor, a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card and free DeepFakes tool available online. I believe they made this video just weeks after watching a tutorial on YouTube.
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) January 30, 2019
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.
Now the fun part begins. Utilizing video processing advancements (think along the lines of DeepFakes, Blender, and Photoshop), it seems the adversary is also sending out bombardments of convincingly-realistic pornography, featuring your face, to every person you've ever friended.
— Chris Vickery (@VickerySec) January 28, 2019
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!