Computer hobbyists use AI to create deepfakes

Computer hobbyists use AI to create deepfakes
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By day, Paul Shales is a computer programmer who works in advertising operations for a bank. By night, he’s creating videos that show Elon Musk as a creepy looking, giggly baby; President Donald Trump as a temperamental pageant contestant on “Toddlers & Tiaras”; and Kim Kardashian freestyle rapping.

His videos are all fakes — deepfakes, actually, which use artificial-intelligence to realistically show people doing things they didn’t actually do. Shales’ creations aren’t meant to fool or scare people; rather, they’re meant to be fun and funny, and occasionally politically satirical. Shales posts them to places like YouTube and Instagram where, under the monikers first deepfake: in it, he plastered the face of actor Nicolas Cage onto Elon Musk’s body to make it appear as if Cage, rather than Musk, was smoking marijuana during a podcast interview with comedian Joe Rogan.

Shales admits it isn’t a great video; the resulting face is more of a morph than a swap, he said. And the voice is still unmistakably Musk’s. But Shales kept going and quickly got better.