Fun or Fear: Deepfake App Puts Celebrity Faces In Your Selfies
Sometimes today's technology is amazing, and sometimes it's flat out scary, I'm not exactly sure where this one falls.
There's a brand new app out for iPhone users called Impressions. The new app allows users to swap celebrity faces on video selfies. It's the first time an app has given users the ability to make realistic deepfake face swaps on their mobile devices.
At first glance, the new app sounds like it could be a lot of fun - especially for those in the Grand Valley who enjoy the fantastical effects of Snapchat. This app is similar to that except the faces being used are those of celebrities like Jim Carrey and Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can make selfie videos using the "fake" faces.
It sounds pretty simple to use. Launch the app, select the celebrity face you want to use, and record a video selfie. Do you own impersonation or recreate a classic movie scene, or create a meme. The video gets uploaded to the Impressions servers and a few minutes later the video is sent back to the user with the face swap in place.
When done in fun, using the app could provide plenty of hilarious moments for users. But, in today's era of fake news, political correctness, and social sensitivity - are people viewing the fake videos going to be fooled into thinking it's a real celebrity saying those words - which potentially could be inflammatory, slanderous, racist, or otherwise inappropriate? Is the face swap that realistic? Will this blur the lines between reality and fantasy?
The CEO of Impressions has acknowledged the concerns about deepfakes, but says "we also know this technology can be used fun." Personally, I would land on the skeptical side of this new technology, but I guess we'll see what the reactions are from people when we start seeing these fake videos on social media.
Right now, the new app is available only for iPhones, but an Android app is in the works.