Now, with the advent of deep fakes, and specifically deep voice fakes, the technology has gone way beyond faking a woman’s face. The ability to fully and seamlessly replicate a human voice is here.
The first time I saw a deep fake video was in June 2017. My initial reaction was shock and horror. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A realistic video of former President Obama speaking, but the words coming out of his mouth were not his own. In fact, he was saying things he would never say! It was terrifying! While it is obvious that this video is fake, it is still very well done.
As a voice talent and vocal coach myself, I have trained my ear to hear subtle nuances in the human voice that perhaps most people cannot discern. I can tell you for certain that this deep fake audio is far better than any other previous attempts at creating fake audio files by simply taking an existing audio file and re-synthesizing the speech pattern with different words.
While this might sound like something out of a dystopian novel or movie (think “A Scanner Darkly”), rest assured we are not there yet. There are still many limitations to this technology. For instance, if
In the 2018 thriller film “Deep Fakes” a group of techies led by Jim, a programmer and internet troll, use artificial intelligence (AI) to create fake videos of Hollywood actresses in explicit scenes. The company that Jim works for is a small startup named TrueVideos where he uses Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to make the videos. The movie was released around the same time as the first deep fakes were created online using GANs and became a hit with netizens globally.
With the advancement of technology, it is not just women who are at risk of getting their faces manipulated in deep fakes. Anyone can be made to look like they are doing something they are not or saying something they never said, without their knowledge or consent. This has far-reaching implications in areas such as politics, national security, law enforcement, sports and entertainment.
Recent advancements in deep fake technology have led to some interesting innovations:
The term “deep fake” was coined by a Reddit user in 2017, who used an artificial intelligence algorithm to create convincing fake videos of celebrities by seamlessly grafting their faces onto the bodies of adult film stars. Since then, the technique — which leverages advanced machine learning to produce realistic digital simulacra — has achieved such startling results (as seen in recent deep fake movies of President Barack Obama and Bill Hader) that it has inspired both widespread awe and alarm.
In fact, the technology has already evolved beyond simply swapping faces and voices to include voice cloning and audio-based deep fakes that can transform what you say after you’ve said it. But as alarming as all this is, it turns out that deep fake technology is evolving even more quickly than most people realize.
As I discussed on a recent episode of my “Artificial Intelligence: The Podcast” series, there are now deep fake techniques that can alter an image or video so that an individual appears to do something they didn’t actually do. For example, there are ways to use AI to make a video look like someone is drinking alcohol when they are actually not drinking anything at all.
There have also been research efforts designed to make a person appear younger or older
I want to tell you a story about two characters. One is a man named Mark Williams, who happens to be the CEO of Vyond. The other character is Chris Jones, an IT manager for a large European insurance company that I’ll call InsuranceCo. It’s a story about how deep fakes — those computer-generated videos that have been all over the news lately — are changing the way we do business and interact with others online.
I recently watched a video of Mark talking to his team at Vyond’s headquarters in San Francisco. In the video, he was wearing a white t-shirt with “Vyond” across the front, while sitting in what looked like his office chair. While watching him talk I could see every little twitch of his lips and eye movement as he explained how Vyond works and what it can do for companies like InsuranceCo. It was an impressive display of animation technology at work.
But here’s the thing: Mark never actually recorded the video; he didn’t even write the script! At least so far as he knew, that is. While I was watching this fake Mark Williams explain how Vyond works, I couldn’t help but think that this is exactly what deep fake technology has become famous for: impersonation, deception
It’s difficult to watch a movie and be completely immersed in the story when you know what you’re watching isn’t real. But that is becoming less and less of a problem for audiences today thanks to some amazing advances in visual effects technology.
We are now at a point where filmmakers can create living, breathing computer-generated characters who look and behave so realistically, it’s hard to tell the difference between them and real actors.
One interesting development in this field has been the rise of “deep fake” technology. This refers to the ability of an actor (or anyone else) to have their face digitally mapped onto another person’s body.
For those who don’t know, it works like this: The original actor records their performance of a scene in front of a green screen; then a second actor stands in for them during post-production when the character needs to interact with other characters on screen (or even themselves); finally, using computer algorithms created by Adobe Systems Incorporated, animators can map one person’s facial expressions into another person’s face seamlessly without any loss of fidelity whatsoever—making it impossible for viewers not familiar with what went into creating such scenes from seeing anything but
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create fake videos has been a big concern for years. But from the time that “deepfake” videos first gained attention in 2017, they were talked about as if they were the exclusive domain of bad actors spreading misinformation.
But there’s a bigger story here than just politics and mistrust. With the help of some AI, anyone can become a digital artist, and it will take more than fact-checking sites to stop us from being fooled.
The technology behind deepfakes has been around for decades, but it took off in 2017 when Reddit user “Deepfakes” created an algorithm to easily swap celebrity faces with other people’s bodies. He shared his code on GitHub and it went viral. In 2018, Buzzfeed News showed how easy it was to use the technology to create a faked video of former President Barack Obama saying things he never said in real life.
Since then, researchers have created tools that can make it easier or harder to detect deepfakes depending on their sophistication. The problem is that much like faster transportation or better communication makes society better, but also enables terrorism and other bad acts, technology that allows nearly anyone to be creative is also going to be used by malicious actors who wish to harm others by