Actor Jim Meskimen partnered with deepfake artist Sham00k to make his celebrity impressions a little more realistic. Meskimen and Sham00k shared the results in a YouTube video, and honestly, they’re pretty remarkable. While Meskimen did the voices, deepfake software applied the facial features of 20 celebrities, including George Clooney, Nicholas Cage, Colin Firth, Robert De Niro, Nick Offerman, Arnold Schwartzenegger, Robin Williams and George W. Bush.
The video speaks to Meskimen’s talent as an impressionist but also to the capability of deepfake software. It proves how well the tech is able to blur the line between what’s real and what isn’t. Though, it still takes a ton of work. According to Sham00k, the full video took just over 250 hours of work, 1,200 hours of footage, 300,000 images and close to one terabyte of data to create.
Sham00k released a video on his own channel showing the datasets and techniques he used to achieve the effect:
Tech companies and lawmakers have taken note. Researchers are developing tools to spot deepfakes, and Google released 3,000 deepfakes in an attempt to further those efforts. Facebook, MIT and Microsoft are working to fight the fakes. Reddit has banned AI-generated deepfake porn, and California now lets residents sue anyone who use the software to put their image in porn without consent. While everyone is up in arms over fake news, deepfakes are developing as the next frontier.