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Immortality Through Deep Fakes
Have you heard of “deep fakes?” These are audio/visual creations of people and situations that use sampling techniques combined with artificial intelligence to manufacture events or statements that never happened. Prominent persons with a lot of online video, audio, and written material are particularly vulnerable to fakes because there is so much data from which to construct, with AI, a virtual event that looks and sounds like it really happened.
My thought went to AI this morning because in a few weeks, we will be interring Mrs Rodin’s mother at a cemetery in California. Her resting place will be next to a plot where Mrs Rodin’s brother and sister-in-law will rest. Her sister-in-law is very much alive, but her brother died 20 years ago at the age of 46. Ever since, my sister-in-law has kept his cremains with her.
Just a couple of years ago when an aunt died and my sister-in-law’s family was looking for plots, they realized that they had to act, now, to assure that family members of multiple generations could be at rest together. Mrs Rodin’s sister-in-law acquired plots for herself and her dead husband for future interment. And so it was that Mrs Rodin’s mother acquired a plot where she could rest at some future date next to her son. We are taking the occasion of Mrs Rodin’s mother’s interment to inter her son as well, some 20 years after his death.
Mrs Rodin’s sister-in-law, like us, are considering headstones. She and her husband are/were friends of a prominent artist who designed a potential headstone that reflects some of the interests and personality of Mrs Rodin’s brother. It incorporates his love of science fiction — particularly Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In the design, there is space for one or more inscriptions. I suggested some quotes from Clarke that my brother-in-law might have enjoyed. My sister-in-law responded that she wondered what her husband would like someone to be reading in 100 years? I came back with: “How about ‘If you are reading this in 100 years, pass on my greetings to our Artificial Intelligence overlords?'”
And that is what leads me to this post. The Deep Fake phenomena/technique enables us to encode information about a person — images, voice, writing — that gives them a form of existence that can theoretically interact with future humans in a virtual form. Of course, only until the energy runs out. But still.
My brother-in-law did not live long enough to be a real candidate for a Deep Fake. And, truth be told, few in my generation have a rich enough digital trail for a Deep Fake. But the Instagram/Facebook generation is creating digital deposits rich for mining. And so they may yet achieve Deep Fake immortality.
I think my brother-in-law would have enjoyed the commentary that follows this post. And he might have enjoyed a Deep Fake existence — but only if our virtual selves are truly reincarnations and not slick digital tricks.Published in General
My head is in a bit of a muddle. First, the question of how to be interned, when, where, cremation, are partly where I got stuck. I don’t have a need to “be buried near my husband.” At one time I was prepared to be cremated, but with my commitment to Judaism, that’s all been turned around.
Like you, I probably don’t have enough stuff on the internet for anyone to deep fake me. But I can only believe that those who are victimized by it through their own foolishness will regret every video and photo they’ve ever posted.
Regarding the burial questions, I don’t mean to derail your questions about deep fake. Maybe I’ll write a post on it.
The ability to do what you described in terms of the physical visual images that may be produced is a product of our time.
Can you imagine what we would be facing if those who propagate fiction like the 1619 Project and the things being delivered through CRT and related efforts had the visual deep fakes involving the actual players. Of course, they can be simulated in movies as it is but it is all fake or fiction. There’s little recognition that the players in those events had not the knowledge or the resources to solve the problems being laid on them in today’s world.
Ft Jackson has a military cemetery, a miniature Arlington. We both will be buried there with a plain white headstone or cross, whatever is standard there. I believe we can be together but don’t know. Will be with our brothers in arms. Simple.
Yes, you can be. My father and mother are buried at the Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Greenville, TN. It a plain white headstone adorned with an inscribed Cross or Star of David and the name of the military member on one side and the spouse on the other. What the protocol for inscribing two military members is I do not know.
Thank you for that. Funeral homes know procedures.
Now you are talking my part of the country but I’m sure I won’t be buried there. I was drafted and inducted in the Atlanta area although I was living and working in Washington, DC in 1961. Now, most of our younger people today are probably not familiar with how Communist governments acted back then. We had such in the Soviet Union, of course, but also in East Germany and other countries in Eastern Europe, some of which had been invaded and occupied after WWII. I was drafted as part of a buildup of American forces after the Soviet Union created a wall preventing anyone from leaving East Berlin without authorization from the government. Berlin had been divided into four sectors after the war with American, British, French, and Soviet Union administering what was earlier the center of government of Nazi Germany. East Germany already had a wall to keep everyone in. Now, that’s a switch from what we face in America. Anyway, the buildup was big enough that they opened Fort Gordon, Ga. for basic training and I went there instead of Fort Jackson. I wonder sometimes when we are discussing individual liberty if some of our people even here at Ricochet are not aware that Communist governments take away all freedom in a flash when it is felt necessary. Americans are fairly accustomed to going where they want when they want.
Yep, it’s that sci-fi short story I wrote about 45 years ago. Sadly, it was never published.
Blue states got a taste of it under COVID and they liked it.
If you’re not familiar with the TV series Black Mirror, you might check it out. It explores this kind of territory. There’s a specific episode where a company creates robots the look like a deceased loved one with a “personality” generated from their social media presence and emails and text messages etc.
Warning… the show gets bleak. Things almost never go well.
The Outer Limits – 1980s version – did it first, basically.
I think there might have been a few variations over the multiple seasons, but the one I’m thinking of was called “Second Soul.”
The worst part of deep fakes is already here.
QT Cinderella’s Deep Fake Trama
Sadly its no longer science fiction. There was a deep fake of Joe Biden, floating around briefly after the state of the union address.
People are going to be sued over this stuff.
Hmm. But can they sue if they’re public figures? Haven’t “influencers” made themselves into public figures?
Actually I think his deep fake is still floating around. I saw it mumbling a speech in Kyiv and stumbling up the stairs to the plane in Warsaw recently.
Yes they can sue. They damaged her image and ability to get endorsement deals. She can definitely hit them hard.
Yes yes. I get it.
But the deep fake of State of the Union was a fake hot mike moment… Joe Biden leaves the stage and is heard to ask “Do you think anyone bought that Bull***t?”
While fake, it is an important question to ask.
Well if/when it actually happens, it won’t be the sci-fi short story any more.
That really depends on what you think an AI is capable of. Let’s say I could take the historical records and make a deepfake Albert Einstein. I don’t think that copying down his personality would make a world class physicist out of deepfake Al. Or, if you could make an AI world class physicist, I don’t think that copying the old German’s personality would be necessary. Dramatically necessary perhaps.
You could probably come up with a deepfake that mimicked his early 20th century idealistic perspective on international relations. But here’s the kicker. Suppose Deepfake Al changes his mind. Is that because actual Einstein would have changed his mind given the circumstances, or is it because your AI is wandering from the model it trained on? If a real person changes you can shrug your shoulders and say “people change.” But a deepfake, is that because the person would have changed, or a flaw in your model? What you end up with is a complicated photo of a person who never adapts to the world as the world changes, or a photo of a person who’s no longer the same as the person you’re trying to memorialize.
The most interesting “deep fake” story I’ve seen is how a guy with a home computer was able to de-age Mark Hamill better using deep fake technology than ILM was able to do with an army of computer animators and gazillions of dollars in hardware. After he posted his work online they gave him a job, and all subsequent ILM de-aging scenes have been much much more believable.
He was also able to deepfake Harrison Ford into the Solo: A Star Wars Story movie, and it was very convincing. I wager Disney wishes that they’d done it that way in the first place.
I very much doubt that he used a single home computer… He may have used a home-built cluster of computers – but I dont think he used a single computer to defeat all of Disney’s resources…
That’s another aspect, for sure. I suspect the people who are “fans” of AI would decide, without any real evidence, that the person would have changed too. They’re the same people who, when actual climate doesn’t follow their computer models, must believe that the actual climate is somehow wrong.
They can always remake it for the later re-releases, like they changed the earlier Star Wars movies, and ET…
Well obviously he’s going to turn off his targeting computer and rely on the force.
That’s The Force, to you!
but part of the complication too could be that someone at home might be willing to wait a couple hours or even days for their computer to do something that someplace like Disney expects to be done in seconds or minutes.
Sweet Anita has also been deep faked: (warning – language – many F-bombs)
This’s interesting, but it might be provable. Take all the info and videos of — I was going to say Mitt Romney, but to make it more interesting, say — Joe Biden until the age of 70 (2012) and have it write his life story to age 82, which would take him through his out-of-office years and his first term, and up to November 20, 2024. Would it be possible for any AI deep fake to foresee what Biden would think and do up through the 2024 election?
I don’t know how many actual people would be able to do that. Certainly not Dimocrats.
It might be more interesting to have ChatGPT (or whatever) try to come up with a story about Biden’s actual performance, and see if it tries to make him somehow sound like a great president, or if it’s more accurate/realistic.
That might cause a computer to blow up even quicker than arguing with Captain Kirk.
I wouldn’t expect better results than climate models.
Yes, this was about AI deep faking.