Sunday, August 23, 2020

I. Kaminska "How fake new spreads: a real-time dissection"

That's an I followed by a period, not a comma as in I, Claudius.

Before we go to Izabella's pieces, there was a tweet at the fake Jeffrey Gundlach Twitter account:
Which, if you think about it, parody account questioning reality of political speech, gets us to somewhere between James Jesus Angleton's usage of T.S. Elliot's "Wilderness of Mirrors" line and Cardiff Garcia's "self-referential vortex of psychologically important thresholds".

Media Matters for America said Rush Limbaugh also questioned the first rate delivery of the speech: "Rush Limbaugh questions whether Biden's “flawless” speech was live, or “a series of edited-together segments made to look live”" but I prefer my commentary from parody accounts and get a kick out of the Twitter query.
And I think I have the answer to what's going on. More after the jump.

First up, Izzy writing at the paper:

We cannot rely on a digital A-Team to fight deepfakes
Governments must introduce measures to better protect vulnerable citizens online
A new generation of highly persuasive deepfakes designed to manipulate and confuse the public is worming its way through the internet. We may think we are invulnerable, but the sophistication of this new breed is likely to catch even the savviest of us out — in fact, it has probably already done so. Today’s deepfakes are more than just Twitter accounts controlled by robots or manipulated videos of real people in the public eye. They are being designed to pass as unremarkable ordinary people, or journalists. Take the case of Oliver Taylor, a coffee-loving politics junkie who writes freelance editorials for the Jerusalem Post and the Times of Israel. Or so the world thought until a Reuters article in July noted that, despite his ample online footprint and convincing profile picture, “Taylor” does not exist.
 It is not clear who was behind the fake persona, masquerading as a real person. The technology to generate deepfakes is now so accessible and cheap he could as easily have been generated by a hostile nation state or a teenage prankster in a basement. His mission was seemingly to dupe editors into printing stories that promoted his agenda and built credibility for his profile. He was only exposed after an academic he had accused of being a terrorist sympathiser followed up on a hunch that something didn’t feel right about his bio and picture and began to make inquiries. But for that, “Taylor” could still be going about his business unmasked. Despite an ample online footprint and convincing profile picture, freelance writer Oliver Taylor turned out to be a deepfake 
© Cyabra/Reuters 
His exposure is probably only the tip of the iceberg....

I remembered seeing that picture but didn't know the story behind it.

And from FT Alphaville, August 17:

How fake new spreads: a real-time dissection
Melania, the US First Lady, was trending on Twitter on Monday thanks to a clip of her supposedly refusing to take President Donald Trump’s hand as she stepped out of Air Force One.

Scores of media outfits quickly repackaged the content, echoing the sentiment that it showed the First Lady rebuffing her husband’s attempts to take her hand in their headlines....

Back to the Vice-president.
Going into his speech there was speculation, on both sides of the aisle, whether it would be live or taped, and if taped whether it would be shot in one take or a series of snippets, edited together.

I think the campaign used a stunt double.

The thing is, in these big budget productions, and the Biden production is one of the biggest, estimated at $2 billion when all is said and done, in these big budget productions the insurance companies who write the completion guarantees for the investors will refuse to allow anything that could terminate production.

When Tom Cruise jumped off the world's tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, in Mission Impossible 4, the insurer refused to allow it. So Cruise and the other producers fired the insurance company and found cover that would include that one scene. It couldn't have been cheap.

I imagine the new underwriters insisted on some language in the policy that the director would shoot all the other scenes first and should Cruise fall to his death the shot would be included in the unfortunately shortened franchise so as to at least guarantee a boffo opening and reduce the insurers potential exposure.
Or something.

Here Vice-president Biden's speech. Is it live or taped?