In the world of deekfakes, Britain’s election frontrunners Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn endorse each other

The videos were created to draw attention to deepfakes.


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A fake video of UK Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn supporting his rival Conservative Party Leader and Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be Britain's next Prime Minister has emerged online, created on purpose to highlight the power of deepfakes – synthetically created videos that can show someone doing or saying something they haven't.

It's not the most realistic deepfake out there, and those that are paying attention will know that the video is fake, but Future Advocacy's aim in creating the video was to raise awareness of deepfakes in general and the power that they could have to influence.

In the video, Corbyn appears to encourage Labour fans to instead vote for Johnson at next month's General Election.

“I'm urging all Labour members and supporters to consider people before privilege,” the altered Corbyn says in the video.

“Back Boris Johnson to continue as our Prime Minister. A Prime Minister that works for the many, and not the few.”

In another of the group's deepfake videos, the roles are reversed – this time with Johnson backing Corbyn to be PM.

“Since that momentous day in 2016, division has coursed through our country as we argue with fantastic passion, vim and vigor about Brexit,” the fake Boris Johnson says.

“My friends, I wish to rise above this divide and endorse my worthy opponent, the Right Honorable Jeremy Corbyn, to be Prime Minister of our United Kingdom.

“Only he, not I, can make Britain great again.”

Deepfakes are made using computer technology to generate convincing phony images or video clips of events that never happened.

Artificial intelligence is used to manipulate real footage of someone – usually a celebrity – to make them appear to do or say that the creator wants.

The technology is still in its infancy but has become more realistic over time.

This summer, a website that allowed users to create audio clips of psychologist Jordan Peterson by simply entering the text of what you wanted him to say was removed by the creators after Peterson wasn't too pleased about the way it was being used.

While lawmakers, have seen the concern with deepfake technology and are considering making laws against them, digital rights groups say that we shouldn't rush to create laws too early – until we've fully understood the technology and its impact. For example, blanket laws against technology could impact movie makers, special effects artists and even the legal expression of parody online.

 

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Cindy Harper

Cindy Harper is a tech news staff writer based in Maryland, USA. After getting her start in local journalism, Cindy now reports mostly on social media stories for Reclaim. [email protected]
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