Deepfake is a portmanteau word—the mating of two word-ideas: “deep learning” and “fake.” To underline the obvious, photographic lying through digital means is well-established. Deepfakes, though, are the dark glossy frontier. They use the power of high-end processing, the tools of artificial intelligence, and machine learning to generate visual imagery with a high (and growing) potential to deceive.
The photograph shows a baby with an uncanny resemblance to Elon Musk.
A weirdly Musk-like baby seems possible, though unlikely (and for the baby, unfortunate). Such an Elongate baby becomes less plausible when the image is a still frame from a video of the Musk baby giggling on a swing. Even harder to believe when the video—modified from an original titled “Cutest Baby Montage Ever”—shows 15 different baby clips and every wriggling baby looks uncannily like Elon Musk.
In fact, the Elon babies are a deepfake project of Paul Shales operating under the name The Fakening. Every baby has been Muskified. Shales has also inserted Jeff Bezos as a huge-headed Talosian alien into a classic 1965 Star Trek episode and grafted Donald Trump’s face and wince-inducing mannerisms onto a troupe of squalling, strutting little girls.