With the rise of fake news, it’s important to stay vigilant when reading articles and news sources. To prove this, Buzzfeed just released a video in which, by using machine learning tools, Jordan Peele effectively becomes Barack Obama.
By demonstrating how easy it is to create fake announcements and videos, he warns viewers on what they should and should not believe:
“We’re entering an era in which our enemies can make it look like anyone is saying anything at any point in time — even if they would never say those things,” Peele says in a clever imitation of Obama’s tone of voice that is overlaid onto the former president’s face.
The video was created using common software: Adobe After Effects, which is used by video creators worldwide, and FakeApp, a tool based on Google TensorFlow framework that took the Internet by storm in recent months. So far, FakeApp has found itself a dark niche in places like Reddit, where users used it to replace porn actors’ faces with those of celebrities, creating videos called “deep fakes”.
Right now, Peele’s imitation of and vocal superposition onto Obama is merely a somewhat convincing piece of fake news, but experts warn that things won’t be so easily distinguishable in the future. Once audio catches up, it will be almost impossible to distinguish a real video from a fake one.
“When tools for producing fake video perform at a higher quality than today’s CGI and are simultaneously available to untrained amateurs, these forgeries might comprise a large part of the information ecosystem,” said a security researcher.