At a TED Talk today along with TED show host Chris Anderson he showed off Metaphysic’s signature “deepfake” technology, which enables it to create fake animated videos of people, using their own voices, likenesses and sayings. He put Anderson’s face on the body of a guest showing the merged image in real time on the big screen at the TED2023: Possibility in Vancouver, Canada.
The point was to show that this deepfake technology is coming fast and it’s so compelling that it would happen fast like a big wave, even if Graham shut down his company today.
Graham said that there will need to be a new set of institutions to verify what is authentic media.
His outfit became famous by making a fake version of Top Gun: Maverick actor Tom Cruise. Since 2018, the team behind Metaphysic has been the driving force behind the mass popularisation of hyperreal synthetic media via its @DeepTomCruise channel and other performances on TikTok and Instagram.
“At Metaphysic, we specialise in creating artificially generated content that looks and feels exactly like reality. We take real-world data. We train these neural nets and it can more accurately than VFX or CGI create this content that looks and feels so real. It’s a great example of AI being prompted by the natural performances of a person and the face goes on top.”
He showed a new video of fake Tom Cruise and he also showed a video of fake Aloe Blacc singing Wake Me Up When It’s All Over by the musician Avicii. The video showed Blacc singing in a variety of languages that he never actually sang the song in. Metaphysic’s AI created the videos.
“Anybody in the future will be able to speak any language and it will look perfectly natural. And this content is becoming more and more easy to create. And eventually, we’ll end up with a scale where we will all be main characters in our own content on the internet,” he said.
Anderson noted the downside of things like fake photographs of Trump being arrested and pornography that uses the faces of other people on the bodies of adult entertainers.
“Personally, you know, we build this stuff, and I’m worried, right? Worried is the right instinct that everybody has. Beyond that, think about what can we do to prepare ourselves. How can we try to impact the future as it spirals in this direction.”