In this America’s Got Talent audition preview, two reps from Metaphysic, an artificial intelligence company, demonstrate the unsettling world of “deep fake” technology.
Tom Graham from Australia and Chris Umé from Belgium started Metaphysic during the pandemic and only met in person two days before their AGT audition. Tom explains that the company uses artificial intelligence to create “hyper real content.”
Chris and Tom invite singer Daniel Emmett, an America’s Got Talent 2018 contestant, on stage to take part in the act. “We’re going to show the audience something kind of amazing” Tom promises. Daniel explains that he’s fans of what Metaphysic do online and “they’re fans of AGT.”
“When they asked me to be part of this wonderful, unique, original thing they’re going to do, I couldn’t say no,” Daniel said.
Watch Simon Cowell Sing as he enters Uncanny Valley
Before Daniel begins singing, two men bring out a huge camera. It almost looks retro. But it’s anything but. As Daniel sings Chicago’s “You’re the Inspiration,” a video screen pops up behind him. It plays back Daniels performance, but with Simon Cowell’s face near-seamlessly superimposed on his head. While Simon’s face, lips and head moves, it’s not 100 percent accurate, leaving a distinct “Uncanny Valley” effect. Creepy.
The thing is, folks like the people from Metaphysic are working to perfect this tech. And although, on their website, they make a big deal about creating “ethical” work, this deep fake video stuff WILL be used for Bad Things by Bad People. I hate it here.
Having said that, Simon and his fellow judges Howie Mandel, Sofia Vergara and Heidi Klum are suitably freaked out by it all.
Simon’s favorite contestant, ever
“Is it inappropriate to fall in love with a contestant?” quips Simon. “I know it’s strange, but I love you Daniel.” He continues, “I’ve always said, is there such a thing as a perfect contestant, a great singer who looks incredible, we just found them!”
“Honestly, this was the best thing I’ve seen all day,” declares Heidi. Sofia says, “I can’t even imagine the amount of work to be able to create something so perfect. Because if I was not paying attention, and I see this on TV, I think it’s Simon 20 years ago singing.”
“You guys are pure talent to make us smile and make us laugh. That’s what we want from whatever stands on that X,” says Howie.
The panel delivers four yeses, allowing Metaphysic to deep fake their next subject.