EARLIER this year Françoise Hardy was asked in a YouTube video why President Donald Trump sent his press secretary, Sean Spicer, to lie about the size of the inauguration crowd. First, Ms Hardy argues. Then she says Mr Spicer “gave alternative facts to that”. It’s all a little odd, not least because Hardy, who is now 73, looks 20, and the voice coming out of her mouth belongs to Kellyanne Conway, an adviser to Mr Trump.
The video, called “Alternative Face v1.1”, is the work of Mario Klingemann, a German artist. It plays audio from an NBC interview with Ms Conway through the mouth of Ms Hardy’s digital ghost. The video is wobbly and pixelated; a competent visual-effects shop could do much better. But Mr Klingemann did not fiddle with editing software to make it. Instead, he used a generative adversarial network (GAN).
Read more: Fake news: you ain’t seen nothing yet