We already know deepfakes are all over the place these days, and the technology associated with them is advancing rapidly. But how easy is it to create a digital replica of somebody? And could it be done on a budget?
That’s the question YouTuber Tom Scott set out to find the answer to in his latest video, for which he challenged AI in neuroscience researcher Jordan Harrod to create a fake version of him for $100.
“This isn’t a face replacement or a body double,” Scott explains at the start of the video. “That’s mainstream now. Hollywood’s doing it, anyone can do it. This is trying to create a cheaper, complete replacement for me — an automatic digital puppet on a budget of just $100.”
As you can probably guess, Harrod manages this easily enough — creating a version of Scott that, while a little rough around the edges, still manages to help her narrate the rest of the video while doing a passable impression of Scott’s voice and facial expressions.
But rather than being an instructional video (which, given the concerns around deepfake technology, wouldn’t be a great idea), Harrod uses the time to explore the tech’s advancement, the associated dangers, and the tools we can use to identify synthetic media going forwards.
It’s a fascinating insight into something which, while perhaps not a widespread source of misinformation just yet, isn’t going away anytime soon.