A few months ago, several media outlets reported on the emergence of deepfakes. Popping up around the internet, these videos allow their creators to make anyone appear to say just about anything, thanks to a special 'deep-learning' algorithm. While the procedure was primarily used to make fake celebrity porn (classic internet), it was soon realised that it could also be used to generate some pretty damn convincing fake news.
Today, the algorithm has been used to create a fake speech from Barack Obama. Created by BuzzFeed and Monkeypaw Productions, the clip serves as a good warning not to believe everything you see. In reality, the speech is by Get Out director Jordan Peele and the video has been digitally altered to make it appear as though Obama is speaking.
Put together by a team of pros, the end result is absolutely believable – but not all deepfakes are quite this good. In fact, just about anyone, regardless of their computer abilities, can come up with their own version with the likes of FakeApp, which was used to manufacture this clip.
This isn't the first time that Obama has starred in a computer-generated sequence. Last July, Washington University researchers used AI to move the former president's lips along to a different speech. Just nine months later and the tool has already been made available to the general public. Now that's what we call progress.