There’s nothing like using a celebrity’s face for a little bit of upselling during a commercial, but one can only hope that Megafon managed to get some type of permission before doing such a thing. Obviously this isn’t the first time that an American celebrity has been used to promote a product outside of the US, but so long as everything’s on the up and up it’s usually not a big deal. When Deepfake is involved however it might be something that might be kind of dicey unless, once again, people are willing to pay for such things as likeness rights. There are issues to think about with Deepfake no matter how interesting it might be since it’s fair to think that a celebrity might not be too happy if they see their face being used for something they didn’t sign off on or get paid to do. Just imagine a company making money on your likeness and not sharing a single cent with you, or even giving recognition. A lot of people might argue that a lot of celebrities don’t really need the money, I’d be one of them, but the fact is that getting paid for being used in one way or another is still the best way to go.
Anyone who wants to draw a parallel with the Scarlett Johansson case and this commercial is free to do so, but keep in mind that Disney and Scarjo’s case is different in that there’s no mention of or use of Deepfake technology and therefore it’s not entirely the same. There haven’t been a lot of rumors that have been spread around concerning any illegal use of Deepfake, but the concern is still there since people can’t always wrap their heads around the idea that something like this exists and could possibly become a problem. The hope of course is that it never does become a problem, but the one thing that many might think about is that the temptation to use it and perhaps even go further with it might become too much and if Deepfake is perfected any further it could be kind of a problem.
There are probably a lot of people that would think that this is paranoia talking and that there’s no way it could happen that someone would be this unethical. If that’s the case however it’s interesting enough that one might want to reintroduce a lot of people to Hollywood and remind them that ethics aren’t always a huge concern in this part of the world since the almighty dollar and how it can be kept flowing tends to be more important. Too many people are motivated by doing whatever it takes to earn a living that it becomes a temptation that can’t be resisted any longer and tends to become something that a person might do simply because they can. That feels as though it’s a big step in the wrong path that a lot of people might be able to resist, but at the very least it’s a huge and glaring temptation that might be hard to ignore that long.
Deepfake technology is impressive, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s possible that there are a few ways that it can be advantageous, but the ability to take someone’s face and, possibly, someone’s voice eventually is something that’s kind of creepy and a little bit wrong on a lot of levels. But it’s something that’s been developed since people are always trying to accomplish new things whether they should or shouldn’t and there are applications that might be worthwhile and there are those that people have to wonder about sometimes since they might not appear to make a lot of sense but could be applied in one area or another without breaking any big rules. Deepfake is kind of impressive for what it can do and what it can be used for, but entertainment appears to be the one big application that can make any kind of use of it at the moment, and even then it would appear that certain permissions have to be given and those using the program might have to follow an established set of guidelines to make certain that they’re keeping everything legit as they need to.
Bruce Willis’ likeness isn’t the only one that’s been used with Deepfake at the moment and it’s fair to say that more and more Deepfake videos will likely crop up in the days and weeks to come since it is pretty fun to watch and there’s no doubt that those doing the programming have fun with it as well. For now, it would appear that Deepfakes aren’t really hurting anyone or doing any kind of damage, but it does feel accurate to say that it’s worth watching simply because there is an opportunity there for trouble.