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Sylvester Stallone In Terminator 2—the Amazing and Terrifying Power of Deepfakes27.06.2019

At first glance, reworks like these seem harmless and perfect for deployment across the movie industry. The implications of deepfakes, however, are rather frightening, especially in terms of how they can lead to the mass manufacture of highly credible fake content. 

The film created by YouTuber Ctrl Shift Face is a classic spin on the popculture genre. Thanks to AI-based deepfake technology, he was able to put Sylvester Stallone in Terminator 2, the seminal Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. The illusion created by the image synthesis is near perfect, as the face of one actor is neatly embedded in the body of another.

Terminator 2 starring Sylvester Stallone [DeepFake]

As machine learning became widespread, deepfakes began to flood the Web. A lot of very curious use cases have been developed by Ctrl Shift Face himself, as he tinkered with the faces of characters from The Office, swapped Rick Astley for David Bowie, pared down the plot of Fight Club or made Bill Hader’s Arnold impersonation too uncanny. 

But the technology, although amusing and potentially useful to many—to bring actors to life on the big screen or produce diagnoses at a more abstract level of art itself—may nevertheless be used for highly nefarious purposes. Recently, the term “deepfake” has mostly been associated with fake celebrity pornography, fake news, and viral hoaxes. One example includes the deepfaked Mark Zuckerberg video—although the clip with Facebook’s CEO was supposed to be nothing more than a stunt intent on highlighting the social media platform’s video policy, it’s not hard to imagine content like this being weaponized and used in myriad other ways.


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