Date of Award
Bachelor of Music Honours
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
Dr Stuart James
Emergent technologies in the fields of audio speech synthesis and video facial manipulation have the potential to drastically impact our societal patterns of multimedia consumption. At a time when social media and internet culture is plagued by misinformation, propaganda and “fake news”, their latent misuse represents a possible looming threat to fragile systems of information sharing and social democratic discourse. It has thus become increasingly recognised in both academic and mainstream journalism that the ramifications of these tools must be examined to determine what they are and how their widespread availability can be managed.
This research project seeks to examine four emerging software programs – Face2Face, FakeApp , Adobe VoCo and Lyrebird – that are designed to facilitate the synthesis of speech and manipulate facial features in videos. I will explore their positive industry applications and the potentially negative consequences of their release into the public domain. Consideration will be directed to how such consequences and risks can be ameliorated through detection, regulation and education. A final analysis of these three competing threads will then attempt to address whether the practical and commercial applications of these technologies are outweighed by the inherent unethical or illegal uses they engender, and if so; what we can do in response.
Gardiner, N. (2019). Facial re-enactment, speech synthesis and the rise of the Deepfake. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1530