back to article Boffins find a way to put your facial expression on Donald Trump's mug

Boffins are racing towards the goal of being able to make anybody seem to say anything in video, and nobody will be able to tell whether it's real. Researchers from Stanford, the Max Planck institute and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg are showing off software that can project the movements on a face onto someone else, in …

  1. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Stop

    Eh, people will know it if I start distributing fake Donald Trump videos...

    Because the stuff Donald is saying will start making some sense!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Eh, people will know it if I start distributing fake Donald Trump videos...

      "Because the stuff Donald is saying will start making some sense!"

      Now THAT would take some serious AI computing power!

      Perhaps amfM could chip in on the possibility of this becoming reality?

  2. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Funny for now...

    But what's the purpose once it's fully developed? I can see a lot of uses for taped "confessions" and political smear campaigns. Maybe Max Headroom or Big Brother will be unleashed once they can figure out voices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Funny for now...

      But what's the purpose once it's fully developed? I can see a lot of uses for taped "confessions" and political smear campaigns. Maybe Max Headroom or Big Brother will be unleashed once they can figure out voices.

      Yup, we'll get Edward Snowden say that he just pulled a very elaborate prank, Julian Assange will wave at us from some Ecuadorian forest .. no, wait. There is no way you will get a self respecting computer to pretend it's Julian Assange. The ego alone exceeds the capacity of anything but a supercomputer, and they're to smart.

      Joking aside, this IS indeed dangerous, because it means you cannot trust any video recording. Bye bye CCTV evidence. Bye bye veracity of witness statements. Not good.

  3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

    Because without very strong audit trail and encryption anything you see or hear could be faked.

    1. Known Hero

      Re: I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

      So back to believing what the press tell us ???

      *puts down The Sun & Daily Mirror ;)

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

      But I read it on the Internet! It must be true!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

        But I read saw it on the Internet! It must be true!

        FIFY :)

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

      "Because without very strong audit trail and encryption anything you see or hear could be faked."

      What makes you think the audit trail and encryption can't be faked, too, if they REALLY want you?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

      I hope it's *main* result will be to teach people to believe *nothing* digital

      Because without very strong audit trail and encryption anything you see or hear could be faked.

      Sorry, I don't believe you

      /running away cackling maniacally ..

  4. TechnicalBen Silver badge

    Wow.

    Ok, there are always clues and differences between real and fake.

    But while this is an amazing tech (the recreation more than the facetracking), wow, that is so close to the real result compared to the low quality filmed versions we sometimes see on TV, that I worry it will be too much time to find the real vs the fake.

    The facetracking though is great for a variety of reasons.

  5. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    ...seem to say anything..."

    "the goal of being able to make anybody seem to say anything in video, and nobody will be able to tell whether it's real."

    Trump already does that.

    There are a million monkeys typing away inside that skull of his.

  6. hplasm Silver badge
    Happy

    Arnie has previous-

    Framed as the Butcher of Bakersfield!

    www.imdb.com/title/tt0093894/

    1. Afernie
      Thumb Up

      Re: Arnie has previous-

      The film version of "The Running Man" was exactly the example I was thinking of for the horrible abuses this technology could facilitate.

  7. BurnT'offering

    Finally!

    At last we can get Humphrey Bogart to sell plumbing fixtures.

  8. Gringo99

    Ahem...

    I'm the only one who thinks "fake porn"?

    Legal issues aside obviously.

    1. Tikimon Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Ahem...

      DRAT! You beat me to it!!! Porn always drives innovation (sorry, Apple) it's a given.

      Celebrities as themselves, assorted movie characters, the fantasies of millions are about to become personalized. It's only another step to Running Man style face-mapping onto other bodies and you'll have custom porn for anyone.

      In cleaner waters, this can become a heckuva party game!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Movie endorsements

    They already use post-processing for product placement in some films, so for example when a film is released in different countries the orange juice the protagonist drinks is replaced with the highest bidder's product in each place. Now they can change what the actor says about it to include a slogan.

    Also you could change a scene so that an actor seems to be singing the consumer's favourite song (see Gringo99's post above for applications of this)

  10. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Sorry. But whenever I hear or read Erlangen my brain plays this song in my head.

  11. MR J

    So does this mean that they can pay Actors like Will Smith $5 million for his "Likeness" in men in black 7, or does it mean that he'll now earn $60 million a year as he can do 3-4 movies all at once without actually being there.

    Hmmm...

    As this software gets better over time then TV Interviews could get interesting... Imagine someone else hijacking a video stream...

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      Facepalm

      No, it means you'll be able to get any actor for $5 million, so Will Smith will never work again.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        "... so Will Smith will never work again."

        I'm in two minds about whether this is a good or a bad thing ...

  12. ma1010 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It's been on the way for a while

    As other posters have pointed out, this has been a theme in some Science Fiction stories. I remember something like this in the book Rising Sun by Michael Crichton in which a character was framed for murder by means of an altered video. There was also a Battlestar Galactica episode where Baltar was framed (by who, one wonders, exactly?) for tampering with the defense master computer on the eve of the Cylon attack.

    Really can't see a lot of GOOD coming from this technology, except, as one poster mentioned, we can get Humphrey Bogart doing TV ads, if you call that good.

    And it's easy to see a lot of BAD things coming from this technology. It's been years since "the camera does not lie" was anything like the truth, and this new tech isn't likely to really help.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: It's been on the way for a while

      "we can get Humphrey Bogart doing TV ads, if you call that good."

      John MIlls et al in Ice Cold in Alex used to sell Carlsberg lager, although I'm sure that took a lot longer and cost more.

  13. POSitality
    Trollface

    Comedy Gold!

    Wow! This could be "Spitting Image 2.0" or imagine what the guys behind "Bad Lip Reading" could do with the tech: PMSL watching their vids *without* digital manipulation as it is!

    The moral implications would also make for a great "Black Mirror" episode.

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