Deepfake videos

So here’s a question.

Apparently these deepfake videos are easy – easier perhaps – to produce these days.

So, how tough is it to do something like Max Headrooom? Or, perhaps and rather, get Angela Rippon, or Boris, The Donald, whatever, reading the news.

Can it be as simple as writing the script then running it through an engine? Or are we still at a much more complex level than that?

12 thoughts on “Deepfake videos”

  1. It’s not about “having a script”. You do a video with a person doing a video and speaking and then apply data about the other person to the deepfake process. This then reskins the video.

    This is good background:

    The main thing is that it can take a lot of processing power/time to do the deepfake.

  2. It could have some interesting consequences on Hollywood, when big names/famous faces find their personal presence is no longer required. The small print said…
    It may take a lot of CPU, but hardware is cheap and leading actors are not. Currently.

    And as you say, the scope for political mischief is extreme.

    I recall a Michael Crichton novel, where even the reflections in the CCTV had been spoofed to tell the chosen narrative. The end of video evidence. As with so much else, he was decades ahead.

    Personally, I’d just love it if someone produced more of the Harry Palmer novels using a reskinned and young Michael Caine! Do we want him sir? :).

  3. They did a good job with Peter Cushing on one of the recent Star Wars jobs.

    Of course they’d have had a lot of money to throw at it, but these things always get cheaper – question is, how quickly?

  4. Don’t recall the Crichton novel – any ideas?

    Been a lot of Caine on the telly box recently, not sure why.

    Having seen the Star Wars sequels (well, two of them, I doubt if I can be arsed with the latest), I guess the current generation of deepfakes aren’t much cop. Uncanny valley and all that.

  5. It’s a serious issue – some malicious bugger deepfaked Jeremy Corbyn announcing his “pronouns” to a bunch of incredulous gay guys, and right-wing bots on the internet spread this fake news and said hurtful lies about Jeremy, such as that he resembles a “piss-soaked tramp” (fact check: tramps don’t vote).

    Conspiracy theories are a major problem in Western democracy and Putin, Rupert Murdoch, and Cambridge Analytica are behind all this.

  6. I can recall seeing some really realistic deepfakes around 1 year or so ago being produced by high end PC’s using AI. This was before the proliferation of porn fakes using famous people which led to any discussion of them being banned and sent underground.

  7. Neal Stephenson latest involving virtual worlds I seem to recall one character was obsessed with the reflections or distorted image in a rain drop as a measure of how complete the virtual world was

  8. Bloke in Costa Rica

    The cost of entry is a reasonably good graphics card in an OK PC. For under $1000 you can buy something that will be perfectly adequate. If you want to lash out two or three grand you can get a card that to all intents and purposes is a supercomputer, with multiple teraFLOPS of compute power and the ability to fling the thick end of a terabye of RAM around every second. This will cut down a lot on the rendering (and more importantly, training) time. The results are in many cases indistinguishable from the real thing. And the technology, both hardware and software, just keeps getting better and cheaper.

  9. @BiCR

    +1 It is relatively cheap and easy now. C4 News did one a few weeks ago to demonstrate this, unsurprisingly it was a hit piece on Boris or Trump

    iirc it was in response to fake news that Hancock’s aide assaulted. Never mind that the fake news originated from BBC’s Kusenburg and ITV’s Peston, it was Tory fake news

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