Deepfakes 2.0: The Sequel Is Even Scarier

Late last year, I wrote about deepfakes and how for about 200,000 years, we have relied on our eyes and ears to separate truth from lies and fact from fiction. Even if we ignore the rise of fake news, technology is on the verge of making it impossible to know if what we are seeing and hearing is real or fake.

It’s been less than a year since I wrote that article, and the technology has advanced in ways that make last year’s fakes look primitive. Here’s a roundup of the advancements and uses in the past year.

Already Illegal: DeepNudes

Revenge porn has been outlawed in many jurisdictions around the globe. In July, Virginia became one of the first states to outlaw the sharing of computer-generated pornography aka deepfakes. It did so by amending an existing law which criminalizes revenge porn, making clear that the category now includes “falsely-created” material. (Image above).

Scary: DNC Deepfake

DNC deepfake

DNC Deepfaked Itself

The Democratic Party deepfaked its own chairman to highlight 2020 concerns. In early August at DEF CON – one of the world’s biggest conventions for hackers – attendees were told DNC Chair Tom Perez couldn’t make it for the DNC’s presentation. In lieu of that, he “Skyped in” and chatted. Except he didn’t. Do you know what Perez’s voice sounds like? Neither did those in attendance.

Bob Lord, the DNC’s chief security officer, led the exercise (with the help of experts in the field of AI) as a way to demonstrate the art-of-the-possible. This is what’s coming leading up to the 2020 election. The video speaks for itself. Please watch it.

Fun: “Fixing” The Lion King

Lion King deepfake

The “fixed” Lion King

It’s important to remember that not all deepfakes are malicious. After Disney (DIS) purists didn’t like the (stunning) computer graphics in this summer’s release of The Lion King, they “fixed” the trailer by melding the original (animated) version’s character faces onto the new version’s animals. The resulting footage is so well done that it takes a second to realize what you’re looking at.

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Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, ...

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