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Update: Deep Fakes


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An update to our reporting on deep fakes — videos manipulated using technology that can make it appear as though people did or said something they didn’t do or say.

In 2019, we reported on growing concerns about deep fakes, and whether it’s possible to trust images we see online.

In simple terms, the process has to do with taking hundreds or thousands of images of the person to be swapped in and sending them through an automated training process, putting Hollywood-quality special effects within most anyone’s reach. By the way, that’s Donald Trump as Frankenstein’s monster.

Jennifer Lawrence: My favorite is probably Lisa Vanderpump.

Here, the face of actor Jennifer Lawrence is swapped out with actor Steve Buscemi.

Lawrence: I don’t know what to say, because who knows when you’re gonna run into these people.

Which Buscemi seemed to find pretty creepy when he was shown a clip on a comedy show.

Steve Buscemi: It makes me sad that somebody spent that much time on that.

Now, three years later, comes word that some celebrities are being featured in ads, without spending a single moment on set.

In this deep fake marketing video by a real estate investment startup, Tesla CEO and Twitter’s new owner Elon Musk appears to be taken hostage. The company using Musk's image says it did not get Musk’s consent, but that the video includes disclaimers.

Here, former actor Bruce Willis appears to help defuse a bomb in a commercial for a Russian telecommunications company.

A publicist for Willis didn't respond when asked whether he gave permission to use his image.

Sharyl (on-camera): The new deep fakes are raising legal questions about outsiders manipulating a celebrity's public image without their consent.

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