Will Smith did a great job as the lead in The Matrix, didn’t he?
Briefly about how deepfakes can distort our memories.
IN recent study conducted by experts from the University of Cork in Ireland and published in the journal PLOS ONE , participants in the online experiment were victims of false memories of remake films that do not actually exist. The fake memories were created by watching a series of videos using deepfake technology.
deepfake Videos are AI-generated videos that realistically replace the faces or voices of some people with the faces or voices of others.
Recently, tools for creating deepfakes have become much cheaper and more accessible, which has increased discussions about the potential creative possibilities, as well as potential risks – for example, spreading false information and manipulating the memory of viewers.
To explore the potential risks, Gillian Murphy, one of the study’s authors, and colleagues asked 436 people to participate in an online survey that included watching videos of deepfakes of fake movie remakes starring other actors. For example, Will Smith as Neo (originally played by Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in The Shining. Other fake remakes in the study were video clips from Indiana Jones and Captain Marvel.
For comparison, participants also watched clips from actual remakes, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Total Recall, Carrie, and Lara Croft. In addition, in some cases, participants read textual descriptions of the remakes instead of watching deepfake videos. Of course, until the very end of the survey, participants were not told that the videos and text descriptions shown to them were not real.
According to Murphy, deepfake videos have generated exactly the same number of false memories as plain text descriptions of fake films. On average, almost half of the participants (49%) believed that the fake remakes were real after watching deepfake videos or fake text descriptions.
Many interviewees even reported that they remember fake remakes better than the originals. However, since the level of false memories from textual descriptions was just as high, the deepfake technology did not prove to be particularly powerful compared to other memory distortion tools.
Most of the participants noted that they do not like it when deepfake technology is used in filming, as was the case, for example, in the latest installments of the Fast and the Furious franchise with the late Paul Walker. The interviewees mainly referred to such problems as disrespect for actors, violation of the artistic integrity and perception of cinema. The results of this study may well help in the development and regulation of face and voice replacement technology in the field of film production.
With regard to memory manipulation, the researchers specifically noted the following: “While deepfakes are of great concern for many reasons, the current study indicates that the technology does not show much advantage in distorting the memory of the past.”
“Essentially, this study shows that we don’t need technical innovation to distort memory, we can do it very easily and effectively using other non-technical means,” the researchers concluded. From this we can conclude that the importance of deepfakes in the role of manipulating public consciousness and people’s memories is often artificially exaggerated.