The Future of Fake News

(YouTube link)

This video contains NSFW language. An address from President Obama, in which he says things that he would never say in public, is revealed to be a collaboration between filmmaker Jordan Peele and his brother-in-law Jonah Peretti, the CEO of Buzzfeed (who knew?).

For the project, Peretti enlisted BuzzFeed video producer Jared Sosa, who was able to manipulate and digitally alter the footage of Obama to a script written and performed by Peele.

The fakery was built using Adobe After Effects, a readily available piece of video software, and FakeApp, an artificial intelligence program that made headlines in January when it was used to transplant actor Nicolas Cage’s face into several movies in which he hadn’t appeared.

Sosa first pasted Peele’s mouth over Obama’s, then replaced the former president’s jawline with one that moved with Peele’s mouth movements. He then used FakeApp to smooth over and refine the footage — a rendering that took more than 56 hours of automatic processing.

If you watched this in high-definition, you probably found it to be an obvious fake from the beginning. But you are on Neatorama, so you are a discerning internet user already. Now imagine someone who is not so internet savvy watching this on a smartphone or in a more compressed format. Then imagine that person is already inclined to believe the contents of what they are seeing. It would be easy to fool a lot of people. On the other hand, imagine a lot of people watching a real video and not believing their eyes because they know how easy it is to fake a video. Read more about the project at Buzzfeed.

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This was good on a couple of levels. Funny political humor along with a warning to the masses on just how easy this is to accomplish. This rendition was a project; thus the 56 (automated) hours to accomplish. Existing available software can realistically face swap heads in much less time. It's already a problem for celebrities. Buzzfeed was a good choice for the exposure - let's hope this spreads further.
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I watched the video before reading the article, but I knew immediately that Obama's lips were wrong. I know the vast majority of people won't sit and watch a speech by anyone (they wait for the summary), so I wouldn't expect others to catch that.
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