San Francisco, March 6: A visual effects specialist who created deepfake photos and videos of Hollywood actor Tom Cruise that went viral on various social media platforms, has defended his work, saying the public should not be worried about ‘one-click’ fakes.
In a report in The Verge, Belgium VFX specialist Chris Ume said that you can’t create deepfakes – in the eye of storm for many for violating users’ privacy – with just pressing a button.
“That’s important, that’s a message I want to tell people. Each clip took weeks of work,” he was quoted as saying in the report on Friday.
“By combining traditional CGI and VFX with deepfakes, it makes it better. I make sure you don’t see any of the glitches,” said Ume who has been working with deepfakes for years.
On TikTok, the account @deeptomcruise racked up tens of thousands of followers and likes.
Ume pulled the videos briefly but then restored them.
“We had fun. I created awareness. I showed my skills. We made people smile. And that’s it, the project is done,” he said.
TikTok said the account was well within its rules for parody uses of deepfakes.
For some, deep fakes pose privacy challenges.
Deepfakes are being treated as video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did, like the popular forged videos of Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and that of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral last year.
Microsoft in September last year unveiled a new tool that will spot deepfakes or synthetic media which are photos, videos or audio files manipulated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) which are very hard to identify if false or not.
“The most difficult thing is making it (deepfake) look alive. You can see it in the eyes when it’s not right,” Ume noted.
“It’s like Photoshop 20 years ago, people didn’t know what photo editing was, and now they know about these fakes”.