Deepfakes are everywhere. Basically every time you see a video on your timeline of a famous person saying something entirely improbable, it's likely someone showcasing deepfake technology which allows us to create manufactured video (sometimes more convincing than others) of whoever we want, doing whatever we want. Remember Trump on Breaking Bad? Or Mark Zuckerberg saying Facebook "owns" its users? Yeah that.
The latest one doing the rounds, involving a classic Back To The Future scene, might be the best yet.
In the scene in question, the two main characters (Doc and Marty) are discussing how now that they've time-travelled back to the 1950s (as you do), Marty's mother has ended up falling in love with... Marty. Yes, the film is a Freudian nightmare, but also one of the most beloved in history, so make of that what you will.
In the original, Doc is played by Christopher Lloyd, while Marty is portrayed by Michael J Fox. Now, thanks to deepfake technology, the scene has been reimagined with a 21st century makeover:
In place of Lloyd and Fox we have the remarkably similar looking Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland.
In the video, which has now been viewed more than 5.3 million times, both versions are presented simultaneously and it’s almost impossible to discern the difference without closer inspection.
This is all pretty frightening but genuinely extraordinary. What's scary is that, while this is just a bit of fun, the ability to manipulate footage could have serious consequences.