Scary Obama video highlights how ‘Deepfake’ videos are the next stage of ‘fake news’

Rob Waugh
Filmmaker Jordon Peele uses AI technology to impersonate Barack Obama and deliver a strong message against fake news

A convincing-looking video in which Barack Obama says surreal things such as suggesting that Ben Carson is ‘in the sunken place’ has highlighted the next stage of ‘fake news’.

The so-called ‘Deepfake’ video was actually produced by an app which automatically maps two people’s faces together – so that a politician, for instance, can be made to say things he did not.

The technology, known as ‘Deepfake’, has been widely used for porn, with celebrity faces mapped into real porn using AI software – although sites such as Pornhub have now banned the videos.

There are dozens of videos ‘starring’ celebs from Natalie Portman to Scarlett Johansson.

But many fear that the next stage is to use this technology to create ‘fake news’ – hence Buzzfeed made the video.

It took 57 hours to create with the help of actor Jordan Peele, and the help of a video effects consultant, Buzzfeed said.

But it’s inevitable that it’s going to get easier, and cheaper, to create such videos.


Virginia Senator Mark Warner said, ‘The idea that someone could put another person’s face on an individual’s body, that would be like a home run for anyone who wants to interfere in a political process.

‘This is now going to be the new reality, surely by 2020, but potentially as early as this year.’