technology

Snapchat working on ‘deepfake’ feature which is not as sinister as it sounds


The new tool lets users quickly edit their face into videos (Image: Getty)

Snapchat is working on a ‘deepfake’ feature which will let users add their face to videos.

The new tool is called Cameo and will allow people to replace faces in clips with their own beautiful visage.

A deepfake video uses artificial intelligence to map the likeness of one person onto another.

It’s feared that the technology will be used to destabilise society because it allows the creation of highly convincing fake news.

But there are good reasons not to fear the arrival of Cameo.

It’s being tested in France right now and is likely to be rolled out across the world in the coming weeks or months.

In a statement, Snapchat said: ‘Cameos aren’t ready to take the stage yet, but stay tuned for their global debut soon.’

Deepfake is a portmanteau combining the words ‘deep learning’ and ‘fake’, referring to simulated videos of human beings.

Its power has been vividly showcased in footage which shows the

The tech uses machine learning or artificial intelligence to combine digital images with audio files to make convincing-looking fake footage of people uttering words they’ve actually said.

We’ve already it used to bring the Mona Lisa spring to life, whilst pornographers are already creating deepfake sex videos which make it look like mainstream stars are getting involved in the action.

Politics is likely to be profoundly affected by the technology, which was demonstrated recently in a video which appeared to show Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn endorsing each other. 

It’s easy to see how it could be used to make effective propaganda or sew distrust among citizens, who may become unable to work out if a video is fake or genuine.

Snapchat’s own deepfake offering is not as sinister at it sounds for one simple reason: it’s not all that convincing yet.

It will superimpose your face onto a video, sure, but the resulting creation is not particularly realistic.

This means the feature is more suitable for comedy or the creation of bespoke reaction gifs than, you know, subverting democracy.

Snapchat has created 150 looping video gifs for Cameo. You’ll be able to cut out an image of a face and then add it to an actor’s own features in one of these clips.

You’ll also be able to easily send Cameos in chats.





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