Have you seen Barack Obama call Donald Trump a “complete dipshit,” or Mark Zuckerberg boast about having “total control of billions of people’s stolen data,” or Jon Snow apologise for Game of Thrones’ disappointing ending? If yes, then you’ve witnessed a deepfake.
Deepfake technology, the twenty-first century’s answer to Photoshopping, can flawlessly stitch anyone into a video or photo in which they never actually participated using new automatic computer graphics or machine-learning algorithms.
DeepFaceLive now allows you to alter your face into someone else’s via video conferencing and streaming platforms. It was designed by an online developer known as Iperov. Streamers have already begun using the feature on sites such as Twitch, according to Russian YouTuber Vladislav Pedro.
“DeepFaceLive has a lot of potential,” Pedro said to The Daily Dot. “This software can be used by both streamers and creators of any other media content.”
As exciting as it may sound, it raises a slew of complicated ethical and potentially criminal consequences. After all, in the wrong hands, an instrument that lets you seem like anyone else might be quite harmful.
“Many will see DeepFaceLive as a fun tool for Twitch live streaming or absurd TikTok videos, but my research on deepfakes has consistently shown there are many others who will be looking to misuse it,” Henry Adjer, the head of communications and research analysis at AI technology company Deeptrace, said to the Daily Dot.
“This could range from adult streamers ‘wearing’ celebrities’ faces without consent to biometric spoofings such as fooling facial recognition and liveness detection systems,” he added.
While it’s entertaining to pretend to be Arnold Schwarzenegger or Tom Cruise for TikTok videos, deepfake technology carries a major risk. Without a doubt, as it becomes more sophisticated, we will see more and more bad actors emerge from the shadows.