The Future of Deepfakes

Christian Mayer
Sebastian May
Hide avatar

IT’S THE YEAR 2033 – the elections for the 23rd German Bundestag are imminent. Deepfake technology, about which a lot can be learned on these pages, is already a familiar part in all of our lives. Basic knowledge of deepfakes is already part of the curriculum of high school students.

Click on the character avatar and read their stories

Bea Bizzy

Bea Bizzy is in rage: The activist has been fighting with all her might against a new online law for months. In 2033, activism will shift even more from the streets to the digital space.  

Finding comrades-in-arms for your position is easier than ever in 2033: Bea Bizzy connected with supporters in internet forums. Together they created the online petition “Fight Disinformation” on a platform. New digital signatures from all over the world trickle in almost every minute.

Social networks are making headlines more and more often. Photos posted there are increasingly misused by criminals. They use facial recognition to identify the people in the photos.  

Bea Bizzy and her colleagues are calling for digital companies and social media to be legally forced to use software that directly anonymizes uploaded photos and videos. In this way, users would be better protected from attacks.

Dr. Dietmar Feek

Dr. Dietmar Feek is about to make a breakthrough. The young up-and-coming politician from a neo-liberal party that was founded only a few years ago could finally manage to become Chancellor of Germany in this year's election.

A few weeks before the election, Eduard, his personal advisor, visits his office. He has just discovered something that is beyond the reach of all social platforms on the Internet.

A video is circulating online in which the neo-liberal Dr. Feek allegedly calls for companies to be expropriated during a speech. This paradoxical contrast has what it takes to destroy his entire party.

Dr. Feek never said that. He fell victim to a deepfake. He now wants to make that clear on his channels. His speaker advises him that it would be difficult to get hold of the deepfake – it went viral too quickly. His previously high chances of being elected have evaporated with a single click.

Anton from the gas station

Anton has no surname. Their friends only call them Anton from the gas station. They were never lucky in their job. But they have had a passion since they were a child: making films.

While the gas station, which they leased on behalf of their friend, is deteriorating more and more, they are editing films in the back. The cast includes professional actors and actresses. With the push of a button, they can even let famous Hollywood actor Keanu Reeves do and say whatever they want – even though the actor with his proud 69 years has not been in front of the camera for half a decade. That would have been impossible twelve years ago – today Anton uses artificial intelligence to cut films without having to spend a single day of shooting with the performers or having to spend a single cent on production.

Anton lives the American dream – from gas station tenant to millionaire. They would like to apply with their film to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and beam themselves to Los Angeles next year for the award.

The chances of winning an Oscar are not bad: for the first time last year, a filmmaker from Madagascar won the sought-after Oscar for best picture who created her film exclusively with the help of synthetic media  – a breakthrough in the more than hundred-year history of the award.

More Stories

Terms and conditions