- A new deepfake video puts Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk into an episode of “Star Trek.”
- Deepfake technology works by training an algorithm on images of a person’s face and then transplanting the face onto footage of someone else.
- Bezos is a “Star Trek” fan, and he even had a cameo in 2016’s “Star Trek: Beyond.”
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Another amazingly convincing deepfake has hit the internet.
Uploaded by the deepfake YouTube account The Fakening on Wednesday, this particular deepfake transposes the faces of the tech billionaires Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk onto a scene from the original “Star Trek” series. Musk’s face is transposed onto that of the human Captain Pike, while Bezos is transformed into a member of the bulbous-headed alien race known as Talosians.
Deepfake technology works by training an algorithm on lots of images or videos of someone’s face and then using software to map that face onto footage of someone else.
You can watch the video below:
Victor Riparbelli, the cofounder and CEO of the British deepfake startup Synthesia, said the video was a “great example” of deepfake technology.
“I think this is a great example of the current state of the art in highly realistic face-swapping,” Riparbelli told Business Insider. “Results like these still require lots of custom work and artistry along with significant expense on compute power (I’d estimate $US100-300) but it’s in the hands of passionate individuals, not companies.”
This isn’t the first time Bezos has appeared as this particular alien; an episode of “South Park” from 2018 depicted him that way as well. Bezos is a “Star Trek” fan, and he even had a cameo in the 2016 film “Star Trek: Beyond.” Musk is not an overt fan like Bezos but has overlapped with the show, as he was name-dropped in “Star Trek: Discovery” by a character listing revolutionary inventors like the Wright brothers.
Though this video is unmistakably a parody, the proficiency of deepfake technology has become a worry for companies like Facebook and Twitter trying to curb the spread of misinformation on their platforms. Both have stopped short of banning deepfakes outright but have recently introduced policies around manipulated media. Facebook specifically allows satirical deepfakes to remain on its platform.