We’ve all watched foreign movies that have been dubbed and laughed at how stupid the actors look with the voiceover that doesn’t match their lips. Now, a new deepfake technology has emerged that can dub movies almost as if they were original.
According to Ars technique, the new technology is based on artificial intelligence and could revolutionize the way films will be translated into foreign languages. The technology is being developed by a British company called Flawless co-founded by director Scott Mann who says he is fed up with poor voice acting.
“I just remember being devastated,” he said Ars technique. “You make a small change in a word or a performance, it can have a big change on a character in the pacing of the story, and in turn on the film.”
A quick visit to the Flawless website will show you an inspiring reel clip where scenes from different films are shown translated almost to perfection. One can almost believe that the actors speak good French, German or Japanese despite having seen these famous films in English.
Mann achieves this perfection in translation by drawing on the work of Christian Theobalt, a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Computer Science in Germany and claims that his technique will indeed soon be perfect.
“It’s going to be invisible very soon,” he says. “People are going to watch something and they won’t realize it was originally shot in French or whatever.”
Mann says they could even use the technology to put new lines in an actor’s mouth. If that sounds a little scary, that’s because it is. Deepfake technology has come a long way in recent years and some people are worried about it.
In 2019, a A new report has warned that AI may not be able to protect us from the potentially disruptive effects of deepfakes on society. The study’s authors, Britt Paris and Joan Donovan, claimed that deepfakes are part of a long history of media manipulation and would require a social and technical solution to be solved.
“The relationship between the media and the truth has never been stable,” the report said at the time. A flawless translation is just one step closer to generating completely fake videos of people saying things they might never say.
In the wrong hands, this technology could be used for propaganda and fearmongering purposes. As deepfakes get more and more sophisticated, we have to ask ourselves: what will protect us?