Using cutting-edge artificial intelligence software, startup company D-ID can insert a deepfake version of you into a trailer for the new Hugh Jackman film Reminiscence.
Since the movie is about a scientist who can help people relive their pasts, after uploading a photo of yourself on this website, the AI-driven tech animates your mugshot and guides you through the process of revisiting the past, seeing yourself smile, move, and blink in a pretty convincing manner.
“It’s a new kind of experience,” said D-ID CEO and co-founder Gil Perry in an interview with Fast Company of the eerie personalized trailers. “The audience can engage and kind of feel the emotions of being inside the experience, the movie.”
At the end of the video, the website gives you option to buy tickets to the real movie in theaters or share your clip on social media. This kind of individualized marketing strategy is quickly gaining traction as it’s proven to lead to greater audience engagement and more movie theater foot traffic. In fact, Perry says his company is already working with other studios to create similar marketing promos.
D-ID, founded in 2017 by Perry, COO Sella Blondheim, and CTO Eliran Kuta, started as a privacy protection service, giving businesses the ability to “de-identify” photos, removing any “sensitive biometric data and personally identifiable information from facial images.” To the naked eye, the photos look the same, but a computer would be unable to decrypt or reverse-engineer it, thereby providing anti-hacking protection.
The Tel Aviv-based company made waves back in February when it partnered with genealogy website MyHeritage to let customers bring pictures of their deceased ancestors to life. “We’re basically transforming all the photos in the world to videos – we like to say we ‘Harry Potter-ize’ the world.”
The photo/videos are disconcertingly realistic. D-ID has worked tirelessly to achieve this effect with all different types of images. “The hard part is when you have no different angles – for example, you can upload a photo which is very frontal and without teeth,” Perry said in a piece for Tech Radar. “Our algorithms know how to predict and create the missing parts that you didn’t have in the photo – for example, ears, teeth, the background. Basically, we cross what people call the uncanny valley.”
Perry believes there are ample possibilities for his company’s deepfake capabilities, especially in the entertainment field. Most notably, it allows movie directors to play around with stunts and special effects before even casting the actors. “We can animate and bring to life things that are not real humans, but animals, cartoons, paintings,” he explains, adding that “it really helps save money for pre-production, when filmmakers are not really sure what the movie is going to look like.”
Currently, D-ID is in talks with stock photo companies, a place where customers might want the ability to change the expressions or angles of the models for their own needs.
“What we offer companies or businesses is the ability to create meaningful, creative reality experiences,” Perry says. “We give them the tools to do things they couldn’t do before — creative things that can engage an audience.”