AI has come a long way with understanding and imitating the physics and style of our universe in digital representation.  Many of us are already aware of the dangers deepfakes can have in fake news with political figures appearing to say things they never said.

But the technology has some potential in reshaping how industries handle art. When the Lion King remake was released last month, an immediate complaint was how the realistic look of the characters lacked the facial expressions of the original cartoon.

Visual effects artist Jonty Pressinger made a video on YouTube showing how deepfake technology could be used to combine the two art styles (the expressive cartoon along with the realistic 3D remake) to create a more familiar cast of characters.

The side-by-side comparison shows a very clear difference in expression. The video used drawings by artist Nikolay Mochin combined with shots from the new movie.

This follows a recent deepfake with Keanu Reeves in Sesame Street.

The deepfake video plants Keanu Reeves face on the singing children. The uncanny valley feeling is still present with many deepfakes but in a few years it will get definitely get harder to tell if it’s a fake.

Studios already have used actors post-mortem in their movies with the use of CGI. Actor Peter Cushing who died in 1994 was in the 2016 Rogue One Star Wars movie as a CGI resurrection.

This caused actors to seek posthumous protections for their intellectual property rights. Deepfakes could also utilize actors long after they’re gone physically. This idea was also played with in Black Mirror’s “Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too” episode.

Will Smith is also in a new movie “Gemini” where he also plays his 25-year-old self with CGI de-aging techniques.

Like with most technology, it’s only as good as the people who use it. Humanity’s worst instincts with the technology could disrupt whole countries with false accusations, but creative pursuits could lead to intriguing new projects.

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