Obama/Jordan Peele Deepfake

You Won't Believe What Obama Says In This Video!


seeing isn’t believing

Deepfake technology, neural network learning to transpose faces from one set of images to another, had been primarily used to put Nicolas Cage’s face into other movies and famous female actors into pornographic videos. There was a popular video from a research group that had used AI learning to transpose speech from one Obama video to another. The implications are frightening. The CEO of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti and Jordan Peele thought so. They wanted to put Jordan’s famous Obama impression onto footage of Obama. When Jonah asked around if there was anyone at BuzzFeed who could figure it out, my name came up.

The group at the University of Washington, rightfully, didn’t want to give out their code. So I had to figure out a way to do it using readily available software that anyone has access to. FakeApp was already out there, but it only switched faces and didn’t allow you to map new facial movements onto footage.

After a few weeks of research, I figured out a way to motion track Obama’s head, delete his jaw and neck, replace the jaw with one that moved with Jordan’s speech, paste Jordan’s mouth onto Obama’s, run that through FakeApp, and ended up with a somewhat convincing video of Obama saying things he would never say… at least not in a public address.