Celebrity deepfake videos made easy with new iPhone app

A few years ago it took a lot of effort to create convincing deepfake videos but now anyone can do it with just a few clicks.

Impressions is a new app for the iPhone that launched around the world last week lets users turn themselves into celebrities and the results are spooky.

The way it works is incredibly straightforward: start up the app, pick a celebrity (the likes of Keanu Reeves and Matthew McConaughey are available) and film a small video. The footage is then uploaded and you get a deepfake of yourself as the celeb that you can then share online.

We’re going to go out on a limb here and assume the celebs haven’t agreed to have their likenesses used in the app.

According to Impressions CEO Murat Deligoz, the clips have to be uploaded to the company’s servers because mapping the celeb faces over a moving clip is a graphically intensive task.

‘We built the architecture in this manner because phone hardware is not yet capable of doing this type of intensive processing,’ he told the Daily Dot.

The company behind the app is based in San Francisco and uses algorithms to create the deepfake videos as quickly as possible – returning them to your iPhone in just a matter of minutes.

Deligoz says the company is constantly feeding its artificial intelligence thousands of pictures of celebrity faces in order for it to learn even more detail to create better videos.

Deepfake is a portmanteau combining the words ‘deep learning’ and ‘fake’, referring to simulated videos of human beings.

The tech uses machine learning or artificial intelligence to combine digital images with audio files to make convincing-looking fake footage of people uttering words they’ve actually said in real life.

We’ve already seen the Mona Lisa spring to life. but this is likely to be only the beginning of the avalanche of deepfakes which could make it impossible to work out if a video is genuine or simulated.

And now if anyone with an iPhone can do it, the struggle is about to get a lot more difficult.

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