Deepfakes. If you’re not familiar with the term, you missed out on the controversy a few months back that lead to the banning of several popular subreddits. The term refers to the practice of using machine learning to convincingly superimpose one person’s face on another’s body. The controversy comes in when your source material is celebrities, and your destination material is pornography.
One YouTube user, however, is using the algorithm to great effect by putting Harrison Ford in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The end result looks startlingly good. So good, in fact, that lawmakers are requesting that the Director of National Intelligence investigate the deepfakes phenomenon for potential abuse by foreign actors.
From their letter:
Forged videos, images or audio could be used to target individuals for blackmail or for other nefarious purposes Of greater concern for national security, they could also be used by foreign or domestic actors to spread misinformation. As deep fake technology becomes more advanced and more accessible, it could pose a threat to United States public discourse and national security, with broad and concerning implications for offensive active measures campaigns targeting the United States.
As scary as that all sounds, I just hope they don’t try to prevent derpfakes from righting the wrongs in our media, like putting Nicholas Cage back in Superman where he belongs.