Jim Meskimen impersonates 20 celebs in 2 minutes in remarkable deepfake video

The deepfake technology in this video is far from flawless, but Jim Meskimen's voices and mannerisms more than make up for it. Watch him recite a poem of his own composition as John Malkovich, Colin Firth, Robert Deniro, Tommy Lee Jones, Nick Offerman, George Clooney, Christopher Walken, Anthony Hopkins, Dr. Phil, Nicholas Cage, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Morgan Freeman, Bryan Cranston, Christoph Waltz, Joe Pesci, Jack Nicholson, George W. Bush, Ian McKellen, Ron Howard, and Robin Williams.

[via Twisted Sifter] Read the rest

The worst thing about deepfakes is that we know about them

Roko's Basilisk is a notorious thought experiment regarding artificial intelligence and our own perceptions of reality, particularly as it relates to a hypothetically powerful AI. It's kind of like Newcomb's Paradox, with a little more Battlestar Galactica-style AI genocide.

If you want to know more about it, feel free to click the link. But be warned: the whole point of Roko's Basilisk is that the mere knowledge of Roko's Basilisk also makes you complicit in Roko's Basilisk. If Roko's Basilisk is real—a question which is intrinsic to the thought experiment itself—then the potential contained within that hypothetical idea is enough to sow the seeds to self-destructive doubt. And that's how Roko's Basilisk wins.

You don't need to know the specific details of Roko's Basilisk to understand how the concept could relate to the growing phenomenon of deepfakes—the manipulation of deep Learning technology to create deceptively realistic videos, like adding Nicholas Cage's face into every movie. The cybersecurity firm DeepTrace recently released a report on the myriad ways that deepfakes threaten our trust in knowledge, and in our own eyes. And their conclusion? The mere idea of deepfakes is enough to bring the worst case scenario to life—even if we never actually reach that worst case scenario in practice.

Nicholas Cage as Amy Adams, because Deepfakes.

In reality, deepfakes haven't actually been used to successfully falsify videos of politicians to use as large-scale propaganda; like most things on the internet, they're mostly used for porn. But the fact that they could be used to deceive the public is itself enough to make public trust spiral downwards, causing us to debate both what is true, and the methods by which we determine what is true. Read the rest

This service makes a digital voice that sounds like you from a small audio sample

Descript's Lyrebird is a premium service that "allows you to replace recorded words and phrases with synthesized speech that's tonally blended with the surrounding audio." The interactive samples on the website are amazing -- I can't tell the difference between the original voices and the synthetic voices. This could be useful for podcast editing, but also for deepfakes (or maybe not -- see update below).

Update 10/16/19 3:21pm PT: A spokesperson for Descript emailed me with some clarifications:

- Lyrebird AI is now a part of Descript -- and their voice double product is available in private beta as part of Descript's podcast editing software.

- The feature is called Overdub -- and a voice double to be used in overdub can only be made of your own voice, which is important for us to emphasize, as we take potential misuse seriously.

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Researcher discusses future of deepfakes

Deepfake videos and audios are being used to make porn and humorous videos, but they can also be used to fabricate evidence and create propaganda. In this Wired video, researcher Sam Gregory at the human rights nonprofit Witness, discusses the future of deepfakes and how we might be able to deal with them.

<em>Image: Wired/YouTube</em> Read the rest

Deepfaking Trump and Kushner into Breaking Bad

Donald explains to his son-in-law how to make money the Trump way and stay out of prison. Read the rest

Deepfake: Boris Johnson sings "Saddy Waddy"

Shardcore (previously), "I made a video for Saddy Waddy by The Private Sector using a new deepfake lipsync method to get Boris Johnson to sing the words." [Ed: Warning, strobe effects] Read the rest

'Deepfake face swap' app ZAO is making people afraid of the future

The 'deepfake-style face swap app' ZAO has climbed to the top of Android and iPhone download charts in recent weeks. As its popularity grew, so have privacy concerns on Chinese social media, and now, beyond.

Here's how it works:

The sudden wide adoption of ZAO is an “intriguing development in a country where mass surveillance and facial recognition technology are prevalent,” writes Jake Newby at radiichina.com.

“Some social media platforms, including WeChat, have now started blocking ZAO videos,” Newby writes in an update to his story on Monday. “WeChat has done this before with popular rival short video apps.”

The app — developed by Momo, the same company behind popular Chinese dating app Tantan — became an overnight sensation after it began circulating on Friday evening. Hashtags related to the app quickly became some of the hottest on microblogging site Weibo, while the app rocketed up the iOS download charts. Chinese social media feeds quickly became filled with ZAO-produced videos from friends and contacts for many users.

The premise of the app is pretty simple: take a selfie and put yourself into your favorite movie or soap opera (chosen from a pre-selected list of clips). Cue users giving themselves starring roles in Leonardo DiCaprio’s filmography or uninvited guest appearances on Game of Thrones.

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A fan's fantastic deepfake improvements to the Lion King

@jonty_pressinger was unhappy that the live action/CGI remake of The Lion King was set in the Uncanny Valley so he "attempted to fix (it) by doing an AI style-transfer using @ellejart amazing fan art."

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Deepfake: Bill Hader channelling Tom Cruise

As hilarious as it is to see Nick Offerman deepfaked into every part in Full House, it's ctrl shift face's videos of Bill Hader subtly taking on the appearance of those he impersonates which really get under my skin. As soon as you spot it, you realize it actually started some time ago, sneaking in under the cognitive veil like a knife through the ribs. Read the rest

Keanu Reeves deepfaked onto Sesame Street

Here's your daily dose of deepfaking and Keanu. Read the rest

Jim Carrey in... The Shining

"All work and no play makes Jim a dull boy."

Another top-shelf deepfake from Ctrl Shift Face.

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Mike Tyson as every character in Family Matters

An entire genre of Saturday Night Live-style skit humor--what if celebrity x were absurdly cast in role y?--is made obsolete by deepfakery. Read the rest

Deepfake Jon Snow apologizes for the last season of Game of Thrones

"When a Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you've fucked up." Read the rest

A new AI tool from Adobe can detect Photoshopped faces

We presume it can tell by the pixels.

Terminator 2, but with Sylvester Stallone instead of Arnie

Another incredible deepfake execution. Ctrl Shift Face reports that his videos are demonetized due to ContentID claims by the original filmmakers: "Since I cannot monetize any my videos on youtube because of copyright claims, please consider supporting me on patreon. You'll gain access to a ton of exclusive content and also help this channel to survive. Thank you."

A particularly uncanny thing about how deepfake works is that it isn't the 1992 Stallone you might expect to see, but an ageless metastallone comprising elements of every age of Stallone.

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Elon Musk's face on a baby

"Might delete later," adds The Fakening, creator of the abomination.

Previously: Elon Musk but with Elizabeth Holmes' eyes. Read the rest

This superb Straight Outta Compton/Brexit mashup is so good it nearly alleviated my Brexit anxiety for a fraction of an instant

As Theresa May continues to pilot the United Kingdom toward a catastrophic, epochal collision with the Brexit iceberg -- even as her ministers are busy slashing every available lifeboat -- Politics Joe have released a flat-out brilliant video casting the PM and her Minister for Ghastly Cosplay Jacob Rees-Mogg (that is, "Snoop Mogg") as the stars of a very Brexit version of Straight Outta Compton. Read the rest

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