“Thank you. And stay woke, bitches,” is not a quote you’d normally attribute to former US President Barack Obama. But filmmaker Jordan Peele just made this a reality, by using intelligent visual trickery.
Okay, that isn’t the most pertinent takeaway from this story.
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Peele, the mastermind behind megahit Get Out, this week demonstrated how AI technology could be used in digital warfare.
Teaming up with Buzzfeed, his Monkeypaw Productions team created a fake public service announcement delivered by AI Obama, to show just how artificial intelligence and visual editing tools could be used to spread misinformation in the future.
And it’s scary.
Not only does the AI Obama look like, well, real Obama, Peele does a pretty good job of impersonating his voice.
But, you know, Jordan Peele does poke fun at “dipshit” Trump, and does drop a Get Out “sunken garden” reference into the mix too.
And at that point, if you still don’t realise that this isn’t quite the real Barack Obama, puppet master Peele appears within the clip split-screen style.
Yes, AI Obama drops a casual “fuck” into the mix too, but the video itself is a tangible, shocking reminder of how we should question everything we see and hear on the internet.
And yes, especially videos of beloved (and not so beloved) politicians.