The Horrifying Awesomeness of Deepfakes

A few years ago I was perusing YouTube in my never ending search for interesting stuff, and I came across some very interesting work where computer scientists with varying levels of expertise were attempting to put new words into the mouths of world leaders and other cultural icons. At that time, I suspected that this technology might have a tremendously adverse impact as leaders could get accused of saying something -- and then be unable to defend themselves because there are so few people who understand the power of the technology. The problem with many of the current generation of deepfake video tools is that the replications aren't quite good enough to defeat our exceptionally well tuned visual senses. But my focus on video deepfakes caused me to miss the truly powerful phenomenon of audio deepfakes. This video below provides and example where audio deepfakers recreated Joe Rogan's voice -- allowing their model to say things as Joe Rogan, that Joe himself never said. Although it looks like something that is all in good fun, it is easy to imagine criminals using this kind of technology at our expense. This technology is changing fast (and this video was made last year). I am showing it here because this video provides a foundation for people who are unfamiliar with the power of this technology.

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