Generated Photos is the latest stupid startup that sounds like a joke from "Silicon Valley" that someone took too far. From their announcement on Medium:
Generated Photos is the free resource of 100k faces for you to use however you wish. But these aren’t just common faces. They were produced completely by artificial intelligence — none of these people are real! Generated photos are created from scratch by AI systems.
In other words, they're Deepfakes for other peoples' ad campaigns.
I've spent enough time around higher ed administration that I've seen firsthand how universities will recruit a perfect United-Colors-Of-Benetton rainbow of students for admissions ads. But this takes that to a whole new level. Why even bother trying to build relationships with non-white-dudes, when you can just generate some friendly colorful faces for promotional use and call it a day?
The company's website brags of "democratizing creative photography and video," which is some impressively nauseating PR speak. In their defense, "We aim to make creative works both more accessible and higher quality through generative processes" sounds a lot better than "Auto-diversify the avatars for your army of Twitter sockpuppets!"
But my favorite part is how openly they acknowledge the poor quality of their images. "A part of the process is training and refining the generative models," the company explains in a Medium post. "The iterations move fast although not everything is perfect yet. So you will also have some fun with the pack of AI-generated photos. When you see a face that is a bit ‘off’, just give it some slack." Read the rest
Christian Dior shot a spectacular ad (below), starring Charlize Theron, to market the new J'adore Absolu fragrance. Embedded above is Rowan Atkinson, of Blackadder and Mr Bean fame, deepfaked into it.
It's wonderful but I'm sad crookedpixel didn't replace Theron's breathless "J'adore!" at the end with Mr. Bean's deep, weird honking voice.
BONUS BEAN: Here he is as Poppy:
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An AI startup called Dessa made a deepfake that allows people to sound like podcaster Joe Rogan. I can't tell the difference between the fake Rogan's voice and the real Rogan's voice. They also made a deepfake that looks like Rogan, but it's easy to tell it's phony.
Image: YouTube/Dessa Read the rest
Here are audio samples from a neural network based system that can analyze a 5-second recording of someone's voice, then have that same voice say anything you want it to say.
Someone made a version of the software that you can download from Github. Read the rest
Tom Selleck was Steven Spielberg's pick to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, Selleck was under contract with CBS and they refused to release him to take the role. Fortunately for us. See what could have been in the deepfake above.
Below, Selleck recounts his experience as almost being Indy:
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In this video by Dr. Fakenstein, the face of Nick Offerman (in character as cantankerous libertarian Ron Swanson) is deepfaked onto that of Christina Ricci's Wednesday Addams. In an ocean of deepfakes, this one manages to crack the sea walls of reason and sanity. Read the rest
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
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
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:
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- 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.
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
Donald explains to his son-in-law how to make money the Trump way and stay out of prison. Read the rest
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]
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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.”
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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.
@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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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
Here's your daily dose of deepfaking and Keanu. Read the rest
"All work and no play makes Jim a dull boy."
Another top-shelf deepfake from Ctrl Shift Face.
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