There was a story earlier this year about fake "celebrity porn" being circulated under the catch-all moniker "deepfakes". In Kevin Roose's New York Times dissection of the somewhat clandestine online phenom (as these clips mostly appeared on forums such as reddit*), he described a video involving former First Lady Michele Obama's head being placed on an adult performer's physique:
"The scene opened on a room with a red sofa, a potted plant and the kind of bland modern art you’d see on a therapist’s wall.
In the room was Michelle Obama, or someone who looked exactly like her. Wearing a low-cut top with a black bra visible underneath, she writhed lustily for the camera and flashed her unmistakable smile.
Then, the former first lady’s doppelgänger began to strip."
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a "deepfake", which Roose goes on to define as "an ultrarealistic fake video made with artificial intelligence software. It was created using a program called FakeApp, which superimposed Mrs. Obama’s face onto the body of a pornographic film actress." As you can imagine, these clips are not exactly legal (or morally-sound, for that matter), but when has that ever stopped the Internet from doing a thing?
Well, it turns out that porn wasn't the only (or even the first, for that matter) application of FakeApp tech, as folks have been using the video software to alter blockbuster cinema. The latest bit of fan foolishness to arise? Placing Harrison Ford's face onto Alden Ehrenreich's body in Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story (courtesy of Youtube channel "derpfakes").
Take a look at this (admittedly impressive) silliness for yourself:
Obvious actionable implications aside, this is amusing but troubling, mostly because it renders the identity protection of celebrities (not to mention normal folks like you or I) somewhat obsolete. All we need is a little footage of an individual, and suddenly they're getting plugged in all their holes (and loving it!) after their mug is superimposed on some obscure Hentai video ($5 to the first person who does this to Scott, Evan or Phil). But even beyond that, how long until an evolution of this sort of technology is used to bring back dead actors and insert them modern franchises? I don't know about you, but I don't want to see Lee Marvin in The Expendables 14.
Anyway, how do you folks feel about this brand of tomfoolery? Is it straight up icky, or the next legit step in weirdo fan art? Sound off below.
*And have since moved to more disreputable corners of the Internet following their subsequent ban.