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General By Will Lewis -
AI Deepfakes That Will Make You Question Reality
[Image via TheRecentTimes]

Inside the AI world of Robert Pattinson

If you’ve been scrolling through TikTok lately, you might have stumbled upon the unexpected sight of 36-year-old movie star Robert Pattinson, not in his usual Hollywood roles but cast as an aspiring vlogger on the account @unreal_robert. With a whopping 1.1 million followers since May 2022, this TikTok profile hosts a collection of surreal deepfake videos featuring the actor in bizarre scenarios, from dancing to a Sea Shanty Medley to performing amateur magic with a teddy bear and a mini Dutch oven. Despite the obvious disparities like mismatched lighting and pacing, the deepfake Pattinson’s uncanny smile and peculiar antics have garnered millions of views.

The account has not escaped Pattinson’s attention, who, in a January 19 interview with the Evening Standard, admitted to finding it “terrifying” and recounted instances where close friends mistook the deepfake for reality. As TikTok continues to feature such deepfake parody accounts, like @deeptomcruise with 5 million followers, questions about the potential consequences and public understanding of AI and deepfakes persist. In the evolving landscape of digital manipulation, @unreal_robert stands as both a source of confusion for some viewers and a testament to the unsettling advancements in deepfake technology, prompting Pattinson himself to ponder the future implications for his career.

AI Deepfakes That Will Make You Question Reality
[Image via Digital Trends]

Kim Kardashian Wins Against Deepfakes

Following the viral deepfake video featuring Mark Zuckerberg came a satirical deepfake, since removed by YouTube, of Kim Kardashian created by the same group. Unlike the Zuckerberg incident, where the conversation revolved around platform definitions of satire, the Kardashian video was taken down through a copyright claim filed by Condé Nast, the original creator of the video used in the deepfake. This raises a crucial question about the power of copyright holders to swiftly remove deepfakes, especially those created for political commentary.

The Kardashian deepfake delves into the influence social media companies hold over their users. While the Zuckerberg video was removed but remained accessible on Facebook and Instagram, the Kardashian deepfake is absent from YouTube due to Condé Nast’s Content ID claim. The use of a copyright claim in this instance prompts considerations about whether copyright holders should have the authority to remove deepfakes created for political statements. Legal experts suggest that the transformative nature of the deepfake, using only a fraction of the original video and serving as a commentary on social media power dynamics, might constitute fair use. This challenges the prevailing use of copyright claims as a remedy for such issues. The case reflects the broader debate about the efficacy of copyright claims in addressing the nuanced challenges posed by political or social commentary deepfake content.

AI Deepfakes That Will Make You Question Reality
[Image via BBC]

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson Deepfake Election Meddling

As the UK finds itself in the midst of a polarizing general election, the political landscape takes an unexpected turn with the emergence of deepfake videos featuring Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. Digital artist Bill Posters, known for his previous deepfake creations involving figures like Mark Zuckerberg and celebrities, collaborates with Future Advocacy to release videos where the political rivals appear to endorse each other. Despite the realistic nature of these deepfakes, the creators emphasize their intent to raise awareness about the dangers of misinformation and deepfake technology.

Posters, who advocates for stricter regulations on online content, argues that the recent ban on political advertising by Twitter indicates the need for similar action from other platforms. However, experts warn against potential disadvantages, emphasizing that legislative attempts to control deepfakes could impede free speech online. The controversy surrounding these deepfakes unfolds against the backdrop of a broader debate about the real-world impact of such manipulated content, with studies revealing that the primary victims of malicious deepfakes are women in non-consensual porn—a stark contrast to the attention-grabbing but hypothetical concerns of political deepfakes. Despite criticism, Posters maintains that his creations serve a larger purpose by challenging public understanding of how personal data is wielded by powerful technologies and urging lawmakers to establish comprehensive privacy safeguards.

AI Deepfakes That Will Make You Question Reality
[Image via Radii China]

Deepfake Taylor Swift Speaks Mandarin

Taylor Swift captivates Chinese audiences by effortlessly speaking fluent Mandarin. The AI-generated clips, crafted with technology from Chinese startup HeyGen, depict Swift engaging in a talk show conversation about her recent travels and musical inspirations—all while flawlessly syncing her Mandarin speech with her lip movements. The video quickly went viral, accumulating millions of views on social media platforms and prompting widespread discussion about the potential ramifications of AI dubbing technology.

While many Chinese citizens marveled at the realism of the deepfake, concerns about its misuse surfaced. Some expressed worry about the technology being employed for deceptive purposes, such as creating convincing fake news. The ability of AI to simulate both voice and mouth movements raised fears about the ease with which people might be misled. Despite these apprehensions people remain optimistic by suggesting creative applications, such as translating and dubbing entire television series. The video captures the ongoing debate around the ethical use of deepfake technology and the challenges of regulation in the face of its rapidly advancing capabilities. In China laws regarding deepfakes are already in effect. Recent regulations mandate the labeling of AI-altered content and the collection of consent from individuals depicted, reflecting efforts to address concerns about misinformation and privacy. However, the enforcement of these rules remains an ongoing challenge.

AI Deepfakes That Will Make You Question Reality
[Image via CampaignLive]

David Beckham Uses Deepfake Technology for Good

In a global campaign, David Beckham lends his voice to the fight against malaria, delivering a multilingual appeal in nine languages using controversial deepfake voice technology. The 55-second spot by charity Malaria No More, titled “Malaria must die, so millions can live,” skillfully employs video synthesis technology from UK company Synthesia to make Beckham’s appeal appear seamlessly multilingual. While the campaign aims to raise awareness for the world’s first voice petition against malaria ahead of the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in October, Synthesia’s deepfake technology has raised concerns about its potential misuse, with fears that it could be employed to doctor videos of politicians or newsreaders for fraudulent purposes.

Beckham, a founding member of Malaria No More’s UK leadership council and a Unicef goodwill ambassador, speaks passionately in the campaign, representing diverse voices from around the globe, including malaria survivors and doctors fighting the disease. Despite the innovative use of artificial intelligence in video synthesis, the technology’s potential dark side overshadows worries expressed by politicians about the threat of deepfakes to democracy. The campaign, created by R/GA London, encourages people to add their voices to the petition, emphasizing the power of voice as a medium to draw attention to one of the world’s oldest and deadliest diseases.


Where Do We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

Kylie Jenner Deepfake: https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/kylie-jenner-tiktok-lookalike

Morgan Freeman Deepfake: https://www.creativebloq.com/news/morgan-freeman-deepfake

Tom Cruise Deepfake: https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/06/tech/tom-cruise-deepfake-tiktok-company/index.html

Volodymyr Zelenskyy Deepfake: https://www.npr.org/2022/03/16/1087062648/deepfake-video-zelenskyy-experts-war-manipulation-ukraine-russia

Nancy Pelosi Deepfake: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/doctored-nancy-pelosi-video-highlights-threat-of-deepfake-tech-2019-05-25/

Mark Zuckerberg Deepfake: https://www.vice.com/en/article/ywyxex/deepfake-of-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-fake-video-policy

Former President Obama Deepfake: https://www.vox.com/2018/4/18/17252410/jordan-peele-obama-deepfake-buzzfeed

Queen Elizabeth Deepfake: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2020/dec/24/channel-4-under-fire-for-deepfake-queen-christmas-message

Scarlettt Johansson Deepfake: https://www.vulture.com/2018/12/scarlett-johansson-ruminates-on-deepfake-porn-of-her-image.html

Emma Watson Deepfake: https://www.thedrum.com/news/2023/03/08/after-emma-watson-deepfake-ad-scandal-experts-share-risks-and-rewards-synthetic

Joe Rogan Deepfake: https://mashable.com/article/joe-rogan-tiktok-deepfake-ad

Tom Hanks Deepfake: https://www.kcra.com/article/tom-hanks-ai-dental-video-ad/45415149

MrBeast Deepfake: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/mrbeast-ai-tiktok-ad-deepfake-rcna118596

Robert Pattinson Deepfake: https://www.insider.com/tiktok-robert-pattinson-dancing-deep-fakes-people-believed-2023-1

Kim Kardashian Deepfake: https://www.vice.com/en/article/j5wngd/kim-kardashian-deepfake-mark-zuckerberg-facebook-youtube

Boris Johnson Deepfake: https://www.vice.com/en/article/8xwjkp/deepfake-of-boris-johnson-wants-to-warn-you-about-deepfakes

Taylor Swift Deepfake: https://radii.co/article/taylor-swift-deepfake-video

David Beckham Deepfake: https://www.campaignlive.com/article/deepfake-voice-tech-used-good-david-beckham-malaria-campaign/1581378