(AFP) – Have you always dreamed of putting yourself in the place of James Bond or Beyoncé? Thanks to the “deepfake”, applications allow you to embody your idol with a simple selfie. Artificial intelligence technology designed to change the media and entertainment industry.
Spectators, even the most passionate, saw nothing but fire. To compensate for the absence of one of its actresses, a case of exposure to Covid-19, the French TV series Plus a Wonderful Life resorted to a “deepfake”, a hyper-realistic digital trick, consisting of replacing one face with another, at the end of 2020. another. .
Face Swap, FaceApp, Reface… With this sophisticated AI-powered photo montage technique, several apps aim to revolutionize content creation in both social media and audiovisual production.
From a simple selfie, Reface analyzes the user’s facial features to embed them into a character of their choice in fun and original animated scenes (“GIFs”). With amazing accuracy.
Enough to let any fan put on a Harry Potter outfit and then take over Dwayne Johnson’s muscular body in just a few seconds and cause quite a stir online.
Launched in January 2020, the Reface app has already been downloaded over 180 million times.
“It took TikTok 31 months and Snapchat 28 months to pass the 100 million downloads mark,” Ivan Altsybeev, co-founder of Reface, told AFP on the sidelines of the Web Summit, the big annual digital technology mass held in Lisbon.
– A fake is better than the original –
Realizing his almost endless creative potential, the Ukrainian entrepreneur believes that “deepfake” opens the way to the future, “where all content can be personalized”, especially in movies or series.
“Imagine a new episode comes out and your friend or yourself appears in it,” he adds, taking the Black Mirror episode “Handlersnatch” as an example, where the viewer can participate “in interactive content consumption.”
A sign of an already growing interest in Hollywood production studios, YouTube deepfake expert Shamuk was hired by Lucasfilm last July after wowing audiences by changing a scene from The Mandalorian season 2.
Five years after 1983’s Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars spin-off television series concludes with the surprise appearance of Mark Hamill, rejuvenated to play young Luke Skywalker again.
But Shamook’s amateur version of the scene was rated even better by many internet users than the original Disney+ broadcast.
“Over the past few years, (Lucasfilm) has invested in machine learning and artificial intelligence as ways to create compelling special effects, and it’s amazing to see how the dynamics evolve as technology advances,” the company said to justify such a hire.
– Fake News –
Despite these new possibilities, “deepfake” is still associated with spreading false information online, as it can be used to manipulate Internet users or to slander people into saying or doing things they didn’t say or do.
For example, last summer a video of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern smoking crack crystals went viral. The leader’s face was actually superimposed on the YouTube user’s face in the original images taken… in 2019.
To stop this phenomenon, the main web giants are preparing a response.
Thus, in June last year, Facebook scientists presented a method that should allow, thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), to identify “deepfakes” and determine their origin.
Microsoft unveiled software last year that can help detect deepfakes in photos or videos, while Google released thousands of deepfakes made by its teams in late 2019 to make them available to researchers who want to develop methods. detection of manipulated images.