You Will No Longer Be Able To Trust Anything You See

Creating doubt was not the goal of the fine people who created the technology highlighted in the following video, which is required viewing:

From their abstract:

We present a novel approach for real-time facial reenactment of a monocular target video sequence…Our goal is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion…The mouth interior that best matches the re-targeted expression is retrieved from the target sequence and warped to produce an accurate fit. Finally, we convincingly re-render the synthesized target face on top of the corresponding video stream such that it seamlessly blends with the real-world illumination. We demonstrate our method in a live setup, where Youtube videos are reenacted in real time.

Emphasis please: reenacted in real time.

And, to my simple eye at least, they have done a marvelous job. I am sure there is, as there always is, more work to be done. But they are well in stride.

I can imagine with ease that NBC has their checkbooks out now, ready to fund this new and profound way of “enhancing” the news. Helping certain personages say what they really meant to say must and will be seen as a great benefit at that network (among others). Do recall that TV now adds sounds of all kind (like laughter, etc.) to programs, including news programs. Enhancing and “sweetening” the video will not be seen as different.

Question: how will you be able to trust anything you see?

Answer: you will not. Not wholly. The suspicion of enhancement will always be there, lurking.


  1. Christian Boyd

    So this is what the ancestors meant when they said some new innovation or other was wholly mischievous. Like chemical weapons, I really can’t see this ever used for good.

  2. John B()


    That would explain Hillary’s seizures on camera!

    It was a beta-test!

  3. bob sykes

    A number of years ago, I read a scifi story in which fabrication of film and documentary evidence was so advanced that the courts refused to accept anything other than eye witness reports.

    PS. Will you ever collect your Thomas Aquinas posts into a book? I have “Uncertainty” and am slowly working my way through it. I bet your Aquinas book would be just a good.

  4. Gary

    I already don’t believe anything I see in the MSM because of selected editing, fact-omission, and agenda-driven story-crafting.

    One place this technology is useful is for movies. Hollywood could use it to substitute for the divas. Pay the copyright fee and avoid the theatrics on set. Or resurrecting significant characters from a lucrative franchise who have passed on. Princess Leia/Carrie Fischer comes to mind.

  5. Sheri

    Having been a photographer for years, even before the advent of digital, I was fully aware that seeing is NOT believing and a picture/video may be worse than useless. One of my siblings in law enforcement said 30 years ago video and photos were not going to be trusted in courts. This is just another step in the direction of living in a fantasy world.

  6. Alan Watt Climate Denialist, Level 7

    About 30 years ago I got a chance to try out digital image editing software. I don’t remember the name or vendor now, but assume it was primitive Photoshop. After several hours I comcluded that photographic evidence had just become worthless. I have always assumed that video evidence would go the same way once computational capacity caught up.

  7. All the more reason to organize society as many small localities. The information there is local, testable, and liars are more easily punched in the mouth.

  8. Joy

    A forensic video and digital camera manufacturer can tell what is real and what is artefact should there ever be any doubt. No need to panic.
    For further information speak to I-speed technicians, Southend on Sea Essex.
    They are on record filming the squirrel at faster than a million frames a second.
    Faster, in fact, than there is current application to use. You will know if technology is used to fool the eye. It’s just more software meddling which can be spotted if the right expert is consulted.

  9. acricketchirps

    This could be as bad as auto-tune!

  10. The answer to the question would be to ignore silly things like facial expressions, and instead focus on what people actually are doing. No one can smile confidently through a lie quite like a Republican anyway.


  11. Ye Olde Statistician

    No one can smile confidently through a lie quite like a Republican anyway.

    Sure, they can. There are Democrats.

    “If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan.”

  12. If you liked some lousy “plan” that didn’t even make the minimum standards set by Obamacare, you were a moron.


  13. Ye Olde Statistician

    Nah, that only meant that someone could smile engagingly and lie like hell. Or else that you think it is okay to lie like hell to people you believe are morons. I understand that this is a belief among Hegelians and extends not only to lying but to physical violence.

    Besides, not every nun and 70-year old man needs a policy that covers birth control.

  14. Sylvain Allard

    At least with Trump you will always know. No one can be as crazy ?

  15. Sylvain Allard


    “Sure, they can. There are Democrats.”

    At least they still had health care.

    Reps:(previous condition are covered)

    If you can afford 2000$ / month premium.

    Health will cost much more if the republican plan passes. Which I kind of wish since many republican voter realized that there healthcare that they like was actually Obamacare.

  16. Ye Olde Statistician

    At least they still had health care.

    Heck, most of us had that already, without the Rube Goldberg machinations. It was the insurance that was the issue, not the actual health care.

    If you can afford 2000$ / month premium.

    That was the big problem with Obamacare: premiums skyrocketed when it started (finally) to take effect. Why do you suppose implementation had been delayed for so long? (Like until just before the end of the administration.)

    many republican voter realized that there healthcare that they like was actually Obamacare.

    Not likely, since the law only took full effect recently. The first hit’s free kid.

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