A disturbing ‘deepfake’ video has gone viral on the internet today. The eerily real looking ‘mockumentary’ portrays Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos as slightly nutty billionaire egomaniacs.
In a hilariously OTT moment at the start of the clip, Elon Musk, (smoking weed, while discussing his own Rap single about a gorilla!) is heard calling Bill Gates “underwhelming” because he bought a Porsche rather than a Tesla.
The video takes a darker turn however when Musk is portrayed as a complete lunatic, claiming that he believes humanity might actually exist within a computer simulation akin to the Matrix. “It would seem that the odds that we’re in ‘base reality’ is one in billions.”
Jeff Bezos is also portrayed in a less than flattering light. As the richest man in the world he obviously ensures that his company, Amazon, rewards its staff with very generous pay and benefits, however in the fake video it is implied that some staff work on zero hour contracts with harsh working conditions, all while he enjoys his vast wealth.
The mockumentary suggests that rather than using his wealth to improve the lives of his employees, Bezos, like Musk, invest huge sums in ridiculous sounding companies involved in space travel as well as health start-ups whose aim is to ‘halt aging’ in humans with the goal to allow those with enough resources to live forever.
In one particularly haunting moment, a smartly edited clip purports to show hundreds of employees apparently leaving an Amazon warehouse and walking up to 12 miles to get home to apartments they can’t afford to rent, while Bezos travels by helicopter to purchase another new house he doesn’t need for £127million (0.13% of his net worth).
The video ends with a straight faced Musk stating that his own company ‘Space-X’, plans to send humans on a one-way trip to colonise Mars within the next decade!
Obviously the video is a ridiculous work of fiction from start to finish, but the growing fear is that the technology being used to create these ‘deepfakes’ could be used maliciously to create more believable videos that would fool large numbers of people.
Imagine for example a video showing a CNN news anchor openly laughing at and mocking conservatives. If a video like that were to be believed by enough people the damage to the company’s reputation would undoubtably be huge and obviously the news anchor would lose their job.
Ironically Elon Musk has spoken on a number of occasions about the dangers of artificial intelligence. In his usual sensible and understated style he advised at a recent forum that “AI is our biggest existential threat” and that it is “more dangerous than nukes.”
“With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.”Elon Musk