Powerful machine-learning techniques (see “The Dark Secret at the Heart of AI”) are making it increasingly easy to manipulate or generate realistic video and audio, and to impersonate anyone you want.
A smartphone app called FaceApp, released recently by a company based in Russia, can automatically modify someone’s face to add a smile, add or subtract years, or swap genders. The app can also apply “beautifying” effects that include smoothing out wrinkles and, more controversially, lightening the skin.
And last week a company called Lyrebird, which was spun out of the University of Montreal, demonstrated technology that it says can be used to impersonate another person’s voice. The company posted demonstration clips of Barack Obama, Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton all endorsing the technology.
These are just two examples of how the most powerful AI algorithms can be used.