Deepfakes have gotten out of control. In truth, the entire concept feels like a recipe for disaster. Generally, when one asks “what can go wrong” and the answer is “so many things,” it doesn’t bode entirely well. Case in point, that recent Joe Rogan vocal deepfake, which found a disturbingly accurate depiction of his voice come alive in an admittedly hilarious fashion. We’ve already seen deepfake technology cause problems for many public figures, who inadvertently found themselves popping up in pornographic images. Of course, the ends are not always so nefarious, as evidenced by the strangely effective pairing of Keanu Reeves and Sesame Street.
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The grotesque effects can be seen almost immediately, as a young child with the face of a grizzled Reeves allows him/herself to be serenaded. Eventually, child-Reeves joins the fun with a voice of its own, and while this could never pass as authentic, it remains a reminder of what the technology can do. Before long, an older Reeves-hybrid adds his voice to the choir, this one feeling a little less Uncanny Valley than the young variant.
At this point, it’s all fun and games. Until you, or more specifically “you” find yourself doing something you didn’t actually do. What happens when the technology reaches a peak and falls into the wrong hands? Not even Keanu Reeves can save us.