We are no strangers to technology’s latest advances nowadays, such as deepfakes, for example. Which lifts the question “how easy is it to create a digital replica of somebody? And could it be done on a budget?”
A $100 budget, to be clear.
YouTuber Tom Scott is coming up with the question on his latest video, where he is challenging (such a daredevil) neuroscientist Jordan Harrod to build a fake version of him with a single top-nomenclature US bill as budget.
“This isn’t a face replacement or a body double,” Scott explains at the start of the video. “That’s mainstream now. Hollywood’s doing it, anyone can do it. This is trying to create a cheaper, complete replacement for me — an automatic digital puppet on a budget of just $100.”
Harrod handled Scott’s challenge just fine, by creating a pretty decent version of him that still manages to help her narrate the rest of the video while doing a passable impression of Scott’s voice and facial expressions.
Harrod, in her advocated peace scientist rhetoric, explains tech’s advancements, dangers, and tool we can use to identify synthetic media going forwards.
It’s a fascinating insight into something which, while perhaps not a widespread source of misinformation just yet, isn’t going away anytime soon.