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24/7 Software Blog

“An update from the Wild Wild West of fake news technologies: A team of computer scientists have figured out how to make words come out of the mouth of former President Barack Obama — on video — by using artificial intelligence,” writes Aarti Shahani in their recent NPR article entitled “Computer Scientists Demonstrate The Potential For Faking Video.”

Shahani writes that “if you've been on the Internet at any point in the last year, there's a good chance you've come across fake news articles. Soon we may see a wellspring of fake news videos.”

“As a team out of the University of Washington explains in a new paper titled ‘Synthesizing Obama: Learning Lip Sync from Audio,’ they've made several fake videos of Obama,” according to the NPR piece.

“Take, for example, a time that he discussed the Pulse nightclub shooter and said "the investigation is ongoing, but we know that the killer was an angry and disturbed individual who took in extremist information and propaganda over the Internet,” Shahani explains.

The NPR article continues that “Obama did, in fact, say these words. But the computer scientists were able to make it look like he said them in places different from where he actually did — in this instance, in a different room at the White House. Audio and video images could be manipulated to make it look like he said them at a different time — say as a much younger Obama.”

This video shows the variants the team created during their project: