#FunUsingTech: Snapchat will let you create your cameos using Deepfake
After a bunch of Chinese apps, Snapchat is gearing up to use the controversial Deepfake technology - which has been used to mar the image of actors/politicians - for a fun effect. The photo-messaging service is planning a feature, called Cameo, which will let users morph their faces into videos and GIFs with relative ease. Here's all you need to know about it.
First, a recap on Deepfake technology
Deepfakes are fake videos that are created with artificial intelligence and deep learning systems. The clips mark a completely new age of fake news, as they superimpose the face of one individual (the target) over the body of another. They can be used to show people doing things they'd never do in the real world and have been employed to morph actresses into porn.
Now, Snapchat will use Deepfake tech
Now, Snapchat's Cameo will leverage the Deepfake tech, although purely for fun. The feature, when launched, will let users morph their faces over those in existing funny videos and GIFs and then share them with friends, family. So, in essence, it will focus on the humorous side of deepfakes, rather than the potential misuse.
Here's the kind of videos it will create
Vous avez Cameo sur snap ou je suis la seule? Je pleure de rire pic.twitter.com/G7E3ZKAilz— Aca (•‿•) (@toddflanderrs) December 7, 2019
How Cameo would work?
First spotted by Snapchat users in France, Cameo uses selfies to morph faces into GIFs. Initially, the feature prompts you to record your face and choose a body type (male or female). Then, on the basis of that data, it learns how you look like and begins adding your face into a bunch of short looping video clips with sound.
Then, you can use the morphed clips/GIFs in chat
Once the basic set up is done, Cameo and the videos/GIFs created with it rest inside the Bitmoji button of the Snapchat textbox. This means, instead of regular Bitmojis, you could use videos or GIFs morphed with your face to convey an emotion or reaction in Snapchat messages. Notably, the clips/GIFs don't look realistic, so one can always make out that they aren't real.
No word on wider availability
When the folks at TechCrunch contacted Snapchat about Cameo, the company confirmed the development of the feature and that it is being tested in select markets. However, the company emphasized that it isn't ready for international deployment just yet. A spokesperson for Snapchat added, "Cameos aren't ready to take the stage yet, but stay tuned for their global debut soon!"