AI Case Study
Belgian political party sp.a creates deepfake video of US President Donald Trump
Political party sp.a in Belgium created an online video using artificial intelligence to create fake video of US President Donald Trump discussing the Paris climate agreement in order to garner signatures for the party's climate change petition.
Public And Social Sector
Sp.a utilised deepfake technology to create a political campaign video where the US President Donald Trump appears to discuss his withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement in English, with Dutch subtitles. According to The Economist, the technique "draws on 'deep learning', an artificial-intelligence technique used in everything from recognising faces to playing Go, a complex board game. To produce a deep fake, all you need is a piece of free software, some pictures of the person whose face you wish to transpose, an existing piece of film to paste it into and a script for your digital creation to read." At the end the video asks viewers to sign a climate change petition in Dutch. It was uploaded to Facebook and Twitter.
Unclear effect on climate change petition signatories, as of 05/20/2018 it had 900 of the necessary 25,000 signatures. However, The Economist notes that "For now, the results are often amateurish. The video of Mr Trump is suspiciously blurry. His speech is stilted. His mouth moves in odd, not-quite-human ways. But as algorithms are refined and computing power gets cheaper, that will change".
Sp.a is a "left-wing, Belgian political party".