You have probably heard that the current increase in Artificial Intelligence (AI) may cause may cause great dangers in not just the world of art, but in reality as well, in regards to national security and war. And I agree this is great threat to our perceptions of what we see and hear, and that it should be regulated as soon as possible.
We have all seen manipulated images made for fun for memes and such. But it is unnerving to see something that you know isn’t quite right, yet wondering about it’s legitimacy.
I just came across this image on eBay. Any child of the TOS generation can recognize this instantly as a “deep fake”, that is , a clearly AI-manipulated image. I’m guessing the seller used an original image of Spock then used an AI program to manipulate the face into a smile. The background looks manipulated as well.
Technically it’s not a bad manipulation. The simulated smile and the squinted eyelids almost look like they could be Nimoy’s. But the teeth are a BIG giveaway. Sharp-eyed ‘Nimoyans’ know that Leonard’s teeth were never that white or that uniform. And the final effect is kind of funny if not somewhat terrifying.
Another example from the same dealer on eBay: Miri with Yeoman Rand. Not sure if the creator is making Miri ‘pound’ or just ‘play’ with Rand’s hair. This one is a clear fake. Miri is a reversed image of the original, (see below) and Janice’s eyes are altered to look like she’s rolling them.
To be fair, AI can bee a boon to artists. I have made some fun creations through some family genealogy sites, although it’s not perfect; I’ve had some images come out with three arms or only half a face! I am sure you’ve probably seen some pretty good art created with this process. However, I do not wish to see AI to take over original hand made art, writings or worst of all, fake videos of say, world leaders making totally false statements. (This has happened already)
Now granted, AI technology could help me create a dream episode of TOS with just audio and video clips from the original. And for all we know someone is already doing that. But I bet that would make for copyright infringement and estate problems so I wouldn’t risk it.
Longtime readers of this blog have seen my own collages and posters of Trek images. My creations were and are mostly done with Adobe Photoshop, which in this current atmosphere may become just obsolete. I truly hope not . I use my art for fun, and to make people smile, but never to influence people much beyond a “hey, isn’t this silly?”
But the main concern about AI and Deep Fakes is how technology has advanced to the point where it’s harder and harder to tell what’s real and what isn’t. Truly scary local and world consequences could come from this, and I pray that all who use it will be aware of the influences they create. Fake fan art is mostly harmless, although I prefer the real deal, but I only ask that you BE AWARE.
Happy Creating, Therese