This is awful, right?
We're in Hell
Just when you think reality TV can't stoop any lower, it does it yet again. To wit: in fresh new manmade horror, a Netflix reality show called "Falso Amor," which translates to "Deep Fake Love," splits five real-life couples up into two different houses, adds a bunch of hot singles to the mix, and then subjects individuals to the experience of watching their partner cheat on them in videos that may or may not be deepfaked.
Yes, seriously, and from the streaming service that brought you "Black Mirror." The Spanish-language program asks participants to watch the cheating clips, many of which are just convincing fakes. Participants then have to guess whether the videos are real or cooked up by the AI. At the end of the show, the couple who guesses correctly more than anyone else wins 100,000 euros (that's about $110,000 in US dollars) because this is the world we now live in.
Obviously, this premise is a dystopian nightmare — as Platformer's Casey Newton put it on The New York Times' Hard Fork podcast, "God does not exist in the universe of 'Deep Fake Love'" — and we would not wish this psychological torture on anyone.
Ethic With Drama
In another particularly dark turn, per Decider, part of the premise of the show is that the couples didn't actually know that they would be subjected to the deepfaked clips.
Not to get all high and mighty about bad reality television, but there are some serious moral and ethical ambiguities here. This is a burgeoning technology, and while in some cases it's been used for absurd fun, it's most often used for abusive purposes — scams, misinformation, and perhaps most insidiously, inserting real people into porn without their consent. It could be argued, as the Hard Fork hosts did, that mainstreaming the tech for the bizarre premise of "Deep Fake Love" might normalize a potentially dangerous tech before we understand the breadth of impact.
And to that end, there's still very little in the way of research regarding the psychological impact of deepfakes. Whatever deepfake tech the show's creators are using is incredibly convincing, and we can imagine that the clips could have a lasting mental and emotional impact; what exactly those impacts might be, however, and how long they might stick around, is unclear.
It's safe to say that folks on Twitter had their misgivings as well.
"I knew the AI shit was gonna be wild but watching this show 'Deep Fake Love' is really putting things into perspective," tweeted one netizen. "You're not even going to even be able to believe your eyes after a while cause of deep fakes getting better."
More on deepfakes: Reality Is Melting as Lawyers Claim Real Videos Are Deepfakes
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