Snapchat could finally push deep fakes into the mainstream, and that may not be a good thing.

A preview of Snapchat’s new Cameos features
Image via TechCrunch

In layman’s terms, a deep fake is an image or video that utilizes a neural network overlay someones face onto another’s. This often frighteningly convincing technology has been used for many purposes, and can be seen in everything from memes to, of course, porn. While this technology has been pretty well known among the tech savvy for quite a while now, it certainly has taken a while for deep fakes to really break into the mainstream. However, Snapchat is seemingly out to change that with a new feature to there eponymous social media app. The new feature, called Cameos, was released for testing in France earlier this week and will most likely see a full release soon. Cameos will utilize deep fake technology to overlay selfies taken by users onto preexisting videos, letting them “cameo” in said videos. This would be a big step towards making deep fakes a mainstream technology, as a company as large as Snapchat with its massive user base could roll the tech out to users eager to try out the new feature. This would not be the first time Snap implemented a relatively nice technology into their app and popularized its use. One such of this would be their implementation of Augmented Reality, which they used for applying their famous filters to selfies and videos, a feature that many other companies would replicate for their own platforms. But maybe there is a reason why deep fake technology should stay one that is relatively unknown out of geeky inner circles. Think of the can of worms such a powerful and potentially dangerous technology would open. With deep fakes you could technically make anyone say or do anything, or you could at least make it appear that way. In a world where fake news is so prevalent and hard to navigate through, deep fake technology would make it one step harder to tell what’s real, and what’s not.

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