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EMO: Sensational Deepfake Tech From China Shows Just How Insane Things Are Right Now

EMO - Alibaba DeepFakes

If anyone has any lingering doubts about the current direction we’re heading in with regards to A.I. and deepfake technology, I would urge them to take a look at this EMO deepfake technology demonstration. The official title for the demo is EMO: Emote Portrait Alive. And boy does it deliver.

To be clear, this astonishing stuff involves taking a single photograph, and adding audio of any random talking or singing to generate a ‘live’ video in action.Now we’ve seen this sort of stuff before of course, and some of it is very good. But this new EMO demo takes it to a whole new level. The lip synching is almost perfect, even with images which are the complete antithesis of easy. Making the Mona Lisa talk as though she was recorded yesterday? Unreal.

The Chinese EMO team, who seem to be working for the Alibaba Group, claim that the tech can ‘generate videos with any duration depending on the length of input video.’ It’s important to note that what makes this demo so impressive is not the basic conventional deepfake output, but the fact that they’ve managed to add in some incredibly clever expressions to the result. These images don’t just talk or sing, they do so in an incredibly lifelike way. It’s as if the tech has almost completely leapfrogged the ‘uncanny valley’ we’ve all got used to with digital fakery.

So, we’re not going to bang on about the future and the implications and the dangers and all that jazz. We’re just going to join you here in the cheap seats as we grab the popcorn, sit silently for a moment, and think of where this is all going to end up. For society, the entertainment industry, politics and life on earth in general. It’s definitely a strange time to be alive!

Check out the EMO page directly to take a look at the other videos they’re featuring. The one thing we’re told from them what knows (i.e. Reddit) is that this is the same team that has demonstrated other cool tech in the past, but never released it publicly. Maybe the same will happen this time. But even if they don’t publish, you just know that someone else with the same smarts is going to do it. Moloch indeed!

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