Imagine a past in which the crew of Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969 — but then became stranded there, leading then-President Nixon to give a speech memorializing the astronauts.
A new MIT film installation uses that exact premise to shed light on so-called deepfake videos and how they are used to spread misinformation.
MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality created a video of Nixon giving a speech that was actually written for him — but that he never ended up delivering.
So how did MIT create a 50-year-old video of something that never happened?
[Film co-director Francesca] Panetta says she and co-director Halsey Burgund selected actor Lewis D. Wheeler to voice three hours worth of recordings from Nixon. The goal was not to impersonate Nixon, but instead to get characteristics like his intonation and cadence correct, she says. After those recordings were done, they were given to Respeecher, a company that focuses on synthetic voice-over work. Respeecher then used clips of those recordings to create a synthetic version of Nixon’s voice.
See Also: Respeecher
UDPATE: November 24, 2019 Internet Companies Prepare to Fight the ‘Deepfake’ Future (via The NY Times)