New Deepfake Video Technology Can Transfer Your Personal ‘Style’
Researchers and digital artists have developed new technology that can create fake videos mimicking personal “style” and facial expressions that look very convincingly like the real person. This phenomenon of fake videos is known commonly as a deepfake.
Deepfake Videos Can Now Mimic Style
Using artificial intelligence, the artists are able to create fake videos that even professional analysts will have a hard time telling apart. While these newer methods of creating fake videos can have innocuous uses like developing realistic animations, there is concern deepfakes could be used for more sinister achievements.
The newest methods of creating these realistically fake videos were developed by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University. They were able to transfer the style of a subject’s speaking manners or behaviors in one video to an entirely different person in another video.
In the YouTube video created by the researchers to demonstrate the new deepfake technology, the facial expressions of John Oliver were transferred to Stephen Colbert, and even an animated frog. That of Martin Luther King Jr. was transferred to that of Barack Obama, and Obama’s facial expressions were transferred Donald Trump.
However, the technology appears far from perfect as the video appeared very low-resolution. Even the facial features are blurred in several places, and it is not a perfect manipulation but has huge potential to improve.
The machine learning technology behind deepfake videos is an unsupervised data-driven approach, authors of a paper describing the Carnegie Mellon technology said. The researchers did not only create deepfake videos of human faces, but also with clouds and wind, sunrises and sunsets, and blooming flowers. They could make one flower bloom in the manner of another flower.
Deepfake Technology in a Fake News World
For the human faces videos, the researchers explained some of the capabilities of the technology, saying the technology can replicate “John Oliver’s dimple while smiling, the shape of mouth characteristic of Donald Trump, and the facial mouth lines and smile of Stephen Colbert.”
While deepfakes appear to be harmless and a mere preoccupation of intelligent creatives at the moment, the technology may later become dangerous in the hands of malicious actors. Unknowing (or knowing) actors could be subverted into creating damaging deepfakes for political agendas, and members of the public may be deceived into believing deepfakes to be real videos.
A deepfake video could be used to trick the public into thinking someone said something that they never did. In a hyperpartisan world, that technology could be extremely powerful.
Fake news may soon become even more real looking…