DeepFakes and Jordan Peele’s Obama PSA

This is an awesome PSA about information hygene and the problems that our society is about to face. Basically, breakthroughs in the last few years have been accelerating what you can do with machine learning at a break-neck pace. Since people can kind of suck, not all of that advancement has been for the benefit of society at large.

In late 2017 some equally brilliant and creepy work was released letting someone (super creepy) place the face of anyone for whom they could get a few hundred pictures on a porn star’s body. Basically this was the creation of a new, modern, sex crime. No one wanted to talk about this threat, because – porn. Well, thankfully Jordan Peele and some others put out a PSA about this coming threat. As you can see in this video they have generated video of “President Obama”, saying all sorts of things. The video effectively nailed generation of voice, tone, intonation, gesture, and lighting. Its an awesome fake.

Right know, with a little knowledge about how the video was generated, it is fairly easy to prove its is not authentic. That illustrates the problem though, you quickly start needing to use math to prove that the video is faked. Math is also quickly becoming inherently distrusted by more and more people. We are also not that far from this tech being able to be run reliably in real time. So – generation of a video of any public figure believably saying anything you want them to is not that far off.

The obvious threat is anyone caught committing an undesirable act will soon be able to more believably cry “fake news”. Thats the simpler problem though. The real problem will kick off as soon as people start generating revisionist historical records. That thread – when pulled – could unravel our cultural anchor to the past, changing our understanding of our cultural and societal path to now.

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