Using Deepfake in Trek... Yes or no?

Discussion in 'Future of Trek' started by Roald, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    There is still a human at the helm (FOR NOW!), just behind a computer and not in front of a camera.

    But yeah, it disturbs me too. I know it's not avoidable and it's going to happen anyway, but feelings are feelings.
     
  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    Yeah, I'm extremely skeptical of the application, and the quick adoption and expecting it to be nothing but good disturbs me further. It's like people don't care if the human is removed.
     
  3. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    People care…Up to a point: when they won't notice anymore who is "human" and who isn't they will care only on a philosophical level, so only the ones that will be interested in the actors behind the characters will actually care.

    Companies don't…they care about money.
     
  4. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Sure, but the industry will do this either way if it can. Actors seldom have input and choice on their characters (in fact, many actors in other franchises were fired for trying to contribute ideas to develop a character better). Also, if it costs too much money for them to bring in an actor for a small cameo... what do you think they will use? Deep-fakes or recast?
    Deep-fakes likely to maintain consistency (if they care about it) and lower their costs (if its cheaper than a recast).

    The characters are the ownership of Paramount/CBS after all, so the company can do with them whatever they want... the actors... not so much, as they are simply there to portray a character.

    Up until now they had the option to simply recast a character with a different actor... now, they can use deep-fakes to continue using an older but well-established and likeable actor for a certain role if the story needs it.

    For instance, you could use Leonard Nimoy in various stages of his life throughout Trek to train AI to do certain cameos if the story was written with that in mind.
     
    jackoverfull likes this.
  5. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    Of course the industry will do that to save money. That's fairly obvious.

    But, deep fakes is pushing the fact that these actors no longer have control over how their appearance is being used. That's the human part that is being missed. You no longer have input in how your likeness is utilized since that actor doesn't own the character. So, I can rig up deep fake to have Nimoy act as Spock with no input from how the actor would make the choice, read the line, adjust the intonation, etc. It's all by machine.

    I don't care if it makes sense from a story point of view-it ignores the human so heavily as to be creating puppets. Which, again, most companies want. So, good for them.
     
  6. WarpFactorZ

    WarpFactorZ Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Location:
    Configuring the Ontarian Manifold
    All y'alls are complaining about how Deep Faking will rip out the artist from the art, which is true to an extent. Consider novels: the author completely removes the actor's input from the character, and develops them however he/she deems fit for the story.

    Also, tell me to my face that you would pass up the opportunity to have a fourth season of TOS (even a streaming movie showing the end of the five year mission) with all the characters looking like they did in Turnabout Intruder. I'll be waiting...
     
  7. Deks

    Deks Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Here's the thing... actors never had much control over how their appearance is being used. They don't co-ordinate with video-editing departments, they just act.

    To my knowledge, actors do NOT get royalties every time CBS/Paramount decides to use a character they played before from say older shows because the characters never belonged to the actors in the first place.

    Yes, you can technically rig up a deep fake to have Nimoy act as Spock with no input on how the actor would make the choice, read the line, adjust intonation, etc.
    AI can probably give you a GREATER range of which reactions to implement to YOUR liking (or in this case, the producers liking).
    I'm not saying it's fair, but this is where things are heading.

    Well, the 3d animation industry (the one I'm studying in and working in) has been doing this for a long time. Actors were mainly used for voice-over work and some movements (which are directed by directors and producers of the animation in question).
    The actors are basically real life equivalent of puppets (they are - just like any other human who has to submit to work for money - and that's how the socio-economic system we live in works).
     
  8. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    Cool. I'm all for acceptance but I didn't expect it to be like "Technology. It just is." without any consideration for human feelings. Amazing.

    Yes, but the actors at least have some measure of choice in how they present it, intonation, eye movement, etc. I just watched a BTS of Thanos and there were 4 companies working to make that character come to life, while still using the information and performance that Brolin did in the motion capture. Deep Fake is pulling that ability to add intonation away, pulling choice away.

    Yes, you have directors in animation but actors still can inform their performance. I mean, even in the last season of Clone Wars had Ray Park and Lauren Mary Kim. Or even Sam Witwer's choices with how he screams Kenobi.

    There's a loss of information.
     
    jackoverfull likes this.
  9. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    Very well said: right now deepfaking is hardly different from animation shows, there still are humans at the helm.

    And now I’ll drop the real bomb.

    It won’t always be like this. In fact it already isn’t always like this.

    I don’t know how many here are aware of the cartoons automatically generated by computers that currently can be found on YouTube and other sites. Animation movies from children whose plots, animations and “acting” is completely done by a software using preassembled bits, with 0 direct human input.

    sure, it’s only cartoons for children, simple stuff...but are we really that far away from the moment we’ll be able to say “computer, I want to see the Odissey with Shatner in the titular role, Justin Bieber as Polyphemus and throw in some Borg drones as well”.

    ...and, isn’t after all exactly what our heroes have been doing on the Holodeck since the 80s?

    personally I’ll pass. I have zero interest in seeing the same old characters over and over. Bring in intelligent, well developed new ones in intelligent, well developed stories and I’m happy.

    but yeah, it’s definitely going to happen, because money.
     
  10. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    I would prefer this. I am sick and tired of comfort food entertainment. If I want comfortable and familiar I will watch the shows that I find comforting and familiar, not reskinned nostalgia.
     
    jackoverfull likes this.
  11. Serveaux

    Serveaux Boomer American Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2013
    Location:
    Go die on that hill.
    I would have been interested in the 1970s.

    Seeing simulcra mimic the appearance of people and things would be novel for maybe ten minutes.
     
    Richard S. Ta and jackoverfull like this.
  12. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    Aug 10, 1999
    Through deep-fake actors and 21st Century writers, it wouldn't be a natural continuation, no matter how well they did it.

    I've seen Star Trek Continues. If the acting were better, it would've been the closest thing we'd have gotten. Even that still doesn't feel like what I imagine we would've gotten in 1969-1971, had TOS not been cancelled.

    I'll stick with Strange New Worlds when it comes out. It'll presumably give us TOS-style adventures but without futilely trying to make it feel just like the '60s or early-'70s.
     
    Richard S. Ta likes this.
  13. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    Oh, i LOVE Star Trek continues and Cawley’s series, however it works a lot because it’s a fan series, at least for me, something special done out of pure love of the series and as a novelty. Not unlike the tribbles DS9 episode, actually.
     
    dupersuper likes this.
  14. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    Indeed yes. Insisting upon use of Deep Fake misses pretty much all the other aspects of how film making is done, actor choice in the role, etc. It is quite difficult to capture the same feel simply because the time and era and sensibility is different.
     
  15. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    I think the real tricky element of all this will be hobbyists and user generated content. While studios and businesses are concerned (rather rightly) with the nature of likeness rights and the potential public backlash of utilizing performers appearances in certain contexts, a lot of that self interested restraint doesn't exist among the general public.

    If software like this continues to develop as it has been than we could be on the verge of a live action video equivalent to fanfiction (which many once thought could be effectively scrubbed from circulation). Essentially fans could simply create their own versions of popular properties when curious or unsatisfied with canon. And while it might be said that there will be takedowns and legal maneuvers to limit it, we already are seeing the limitations with that given the amount of pirated content going around right now.

    Between the tricky nature of trying legislate freeware deepfake programs (which in and of themselves aren't really breaking any law), the vast amount of video/audio/photo information of famous people, and the trading of such things potentially tied to stuff like digital currencies, there could very be an entire pseudo-underground market for deepfake recreation of media that will be a pain to try and prosecute consistently.
     
  16. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    Many here seems to be convinced that current deepfake technology no longer involves actors, while we'll definitely go towards that this isn't true at all right now: it doesn't involve the *origianal* actors, but there is still an actor to play the part, one whose likenesses is replaced with the old one. And, of course, there might be a voice actor as well (perhaps even the original actor, like in a recent occurrence I won't name to avoid spoilers).
     
  17. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    Location:
    Aug 10, 1999
    I think William Shatner would have to give his permission for his likeness to be used. And here's the rub: William Shatner is a complete, total jerk now (at least he's become more of one) who can't stand "SJWs!" and is even more full of himself than ever before. The type of thing he'd sign off on for his likeness to be used in would probably be something I don't want to see. I imagine the Star Trek he'd be in would be exactly what the Fandom Menace would love. And anything they'd like wouldn't be any good at all.

    It pains me to say this, but I can't unsee what I've seen on Twitter.

    I've also read some of his Trek books and, except for The Ashes of Eden, I didn't think they were very good. It's not enough that he wants Kirk to be in a story that's good. He wants Kirk to be him and he wants everyone else to fall in-line behind him (not Kirk, him) and kiss the ground he walks on. He doesn't want quality (even though he thinks he wants quality), he wants worship.

    I have no doubt the type of people who'd make DeepFake Trek would worship him. And that would blind them.
     
  18. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    Location:
    Annoyed by inappropriate use of the word "Need"
    More that the actor won't matter.
     
  19. JaxsBrokenHeart

    JaxsBrokenHeart Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 20, 2011
    I guess I'm envisioning it in the context of various production related elements getting cheaper and more accessible over time: green screen, editing, special effects, etc. Actors and actresses (and some elements of a set) would have to be there, but given that a face and voice would be replaced, at that point you'd just be casting for someone with roughly the right body/head shape and maybe minor stunts.

    Yeah its difficult to imagine Joe Schmoe in TOS cosplay being seamlessly replaced with Leonard Nimoy in terms of face/voice 20 years from now, but technology like this is moving remarkably quick and even the ease of deepfakes is something that would have surprised people a decade ago. At the very least it feels like a far more viable concept than ever before.
     
  20. jackoverfull

    jackoverfull Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2020
    Location:
    Italy
    I wouldn’t be so sure he’d say no if they gave him a good paycheck. He was OK with doing a cameo only in the original concept of Star Trek 6 and has been lobbying to be back one way or the other for at least 20 years.

    I like his novels BTW. Once you accept his limits (mainly superkirk and characters fighting each other when they should be more mature in their actions) there is a lot of good there in my opinion. Not sure how much comes from him or from the reeves-stevens, of course.

    In any case, let’s imagine shatner would never agree on his image being used this way...what about his heirs once he’s gone? Will they really refuse some good money to honor his wishes 30 years from now?

    there must be a contract to use someone’s image, basically in every legislation.

    Nimoy got extremely angry at roddenberry and at the studios in several cases the image of Spock was used against his will, the lawsuits he started being part of the reason he was often at odds with them.

    And, on a personal note, this very law is how I got some videos removed a few years ago when some guy hired me for some videoclips, never paid me and proceeded to put the footage on YouTube anyway...And had its bearing afterwards in court.

    this is quite doable even now, even if with a lot of effort and still of course not totally seamlessly.