WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
It’s getting easier to create DeepFakes and use them for fun or to run scams.
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Elon Musk’s SpaceX might have banned Zoom for its employees over security concerns, however, you shouldn’t be surprised if the CEO himself makes an appearance on your monthly meetings.
Yes, deepfakes have just taken yet another leap forwards, and as they get easier and cheaper to produce, in this case thanks to a developer who just simply used a photo of Elon Musk from the internet to create a good quality deepfake, just as Samsung showed off a while ago with their own deepfake tech, you can only expect more Elon Musk’s and celebs to turn up on more video calls.
Turning to the dark side though you might now also have to be on guard for your “boss” video calling you to get you to transfer vast sums of money to a dodgy Ukrainian bank account – a scam that this British energy CEO just fell victim to after he transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars at his “bosses” request after his real bosses voice got cloned.
Watch DeepFake Elon Musk crash a video call
In the video you can see Musk “popping” into a three-way Zoom call, and if it wasn’t for the awkward face movements and voice differences it might have fooled us all.
Programmer Ali Aliev, the man behind the Elon mask, used an open-source code from the “First Order Motion Model for Image Animation” software to build Avatarify, which is what you can use to superimpose Britney Spears’ face onto your face in real-time during Skype and Zoom meetings.
Yes, thanks to this deepfake-powered filter, you can actually attend video calls as anyone from Mona Lisa to Elon Musk, and the code is available on Github for anyone to use.
In another YouTube clip, shown above, Aliev shows how Avatarify can take footage from his computer’s webcam to translate his facial movements on to still images of Albert Einstein, Eminem, and Steve Jobs.
Which then begs the question… who do you want to be today? The Dalai Lama promoting peace, or Donald Trump announcing all out nuclear war? Pandora’s Box has been opened and there’s no going back. But it’ll be fun – probably.