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WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

In a couple of years time you won’t be able to tell what’s fake from what’s real.

 

We all love DeepFakes – unless that is you’re a celebrity, a news corporation, or a fan of democracy. But all that asides if you look past the trail of devastation they’re already leaving in their wake it seems inevitable that the destroyer of reputations and tarnisher of news will replace meme’s as the internets favourite past time. And here’s an example –  after all, why bother with overlaying a text meme on Donald Trump’s face when you can make him sing Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” – something that was recently uploaded to YouTube, instead?

 

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And, of course, all of this is just a small slice of the technology’s future potential that will one day see it creating high def movies, good ones, not ones like this one which was awful, even better fake news, like this piece from President Obama, music, and much more besides.

 

Great start, but give it up now Deepfake Trump

 

Thankfully though, and back to Trump’s rapping, the unholy song is the work of a neural network – an Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm trained on Trump’s voice and patterns of speech and tasked with churning out this cursed musical tribute.

The algorithm isn’t perfect though, yet, because the video description says the algorithm didn’t have enough training data to replicate all of the lyrics.

As a result, some words are missing, and others are mispronounced – Trumpinem sings that “his palms are sweety” instead of “sweaty,” for instance. Also, the nature of making Trump’s voice keep to Eminem’s cadence means words get stretched or compressed, the audio equivalent of Trump rapping from the bottom of a well.

 

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The cursed track comes courtesy of research published last year by Google’s AI labs, in which the researchers figured out how to train AI to generate speech using a revolutionary audio technology called WaveNet that sounds like an actual person’s voice.

Playful audio tracks aside, the AI technology could be, sorry, will be, inevitably misused to make it seem as though people have said things they never did – and despite the funny shenanigans and the new meme’s we’re all going to have forced into our newsfeeds it also sets a very worrying precedent that, as usual, the world isn’t ready for. Ouch on all fronts.

About author

Matthew Griffin

Matthew Griffin, described as “The Adviser behind the Advisers” and a “Young Kurzweil,” is the founder and CEO of the World Futures Forum and the 311 Institute, a global Futures and Deep Futures consultancy working between the dates of 2020 to 2070, and is an award winning futurist, and author of “Codex of the Future” series. Regularly featured in the global media, including AP, BBC, CNBC, Discovery, RT, and Viacom, Matthew’s ability to identify, track, and explain the impacts of hundreds of revolutionary emerging technologies on global culture, industry and society, is unparalleled. Recognised for the past six years as one of the world’s foremost futurists, innovation and strategy experts Matthew is an international speaker who helps governments, investors, multi-nationals and regulators around the world envision, build and lead an inclusive, sustainable future. A rare talent Matthew’s recent work includes mentoring Lunar XPrize teams, re-envisioning global education and training with the G20, and helping the world’s largest organisations envision and ideate the future of their products and services, industries, and countries. Matthew's clients include three Prime Ministers and several governments, including the G7, Accenture, Bain & Co, BCG, Credit Suisse, Dell EMC, Dentons, Deloitte, E&Y, GEMS, Huawei, JPMorgan Chase, KPMG, Lego, McKinsey, PWC, Qualcomm, SAP, Samsung, Sopra Steria, T-Mobile, and many more.

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