Nixon deepfaked to read his prepared speech for a moon-landing disaster

President Richard Nixon had the honor of welcoming Earthlings to the moon, but speechwriter William Safire had prepared an alternative for use in the event of a moon-landing disaster. A team at MIT deepfaked the dead president into this alternative timeline.

In Event of Moon Disaster will premiere at IDFA DocLab on November 22, 2019 in the form of a physical installation designed to re-create a 1960s era American living room.

This project is a production of the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality.

I've been trying to make this exact artifact for months, without success! Making people do things they didn't is much harder than the usual generative fare: the voice, physical consistency, the emotions, and the historical details all conspire to subvert the "easy" part of making someone's chops move. A lie is harder than a joke, which is why lies are posed as jokes. The achieved result, though, is magical and disquieting — look how they make Nixon choke up! And a warning.