Watch a child magically materialize in the background of this BBC News clip

In this BBC News clip, a child seems to materialize just behind the woman speaking. WTF. Unfortunately this isn't likely a fun glitch in our simulated reality but rather something with much more insidious potential. From WAXY:

If you watch the woman’s face at the same time the boy appears, you can see her expression morph into a smile.

This technique is known as a Morph Cut, a feature added to Adobe Premiere Pro in 2015, intended to smooth transitions in interview footage, removing unwanted pauses, stutters, and filler words (“like,” “um,” and “uh”) without hard splices and cuts.

The results, when used appropriately in interview footage without a changing background, can be nearly seamless.

It’s likely that BBC News used a morph cut in the clip above to tighten up the interview without changing its meaning. But it’s also ripe for abuse and fully capable of altering the meaning of an interview, and in many cases, undetectable.

Another demonstration of the technology:

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Faked video gets much better

Researchers have developed a generative neural network to make fake videos of talking heads. It's getting a lot harder to tell the difference between real and deep fakes.

We present a novel approach that enables photo-realistic re-animation of portrait videos using only an input video. In contrast to existing approaches that are restricted to manipulations of facial expressions only, we are the first to transfer the full 3D head position, head rotation, face expression, eye gaze, and eye blinking from a source actor to a portrait video of a target actor.

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