Sunday, May 22, 2022

'Chinese Elon Musk' Or Deepfake? Why Video Of Tesla CEO's 'Lookalike' Has Led To Concern

While some social media users are convinced that the man in the viral video is a Chinese lookalike of Elon Musk, others remain sceptical.

'Chinese Elon Musk' Or Deepfake? Why Video Of Tesla CEO's 'Lookalike' Has Led To Concern
Elon Musk's doppleganger or deepfake? AP/Twitter

Does billionaire Elon Musk have a doppelganger? Or is it just a deep fake? A viral video of a person who is now being dubbed as the "Chinese Elon Musk" has caused shock and concern among many on the internet. While some are convinced the man in the video is a lookalike of the Tesla chief, others think the video is actually a deep fake.

Who is 'Chinese Elon Musk'?

Earlier this week, a video started going viral on social media in which a man, who looked a lot like the SpaceX boss, was seen mimicking Musk while standing beside a car. The man, apparently Chinese, quickly went viral on social media with many dubbing him as 'Yi Long Musk'. According to reports, the video first appeared on the video-sharing platform TikTok and then spread to other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.

Like all things related to the Musk that go viral on the internet, 'netizens' were thrilled to find new memes on Musk as jokes flooded Twitter.

But is 'Yi Long Musk' real?

While the man in the video who is being touted as Musk's doppelganger appears to be an actual person, many on the internet feel that the whole thing might just be fake. Some social media users have observed glitches in the video and are convinced that the video is really just a deep fake.

"It’s a deep fake. There’s a small glitch when he speaks as the camera is panning around; it’s in the eyes and the mouth looks delayed," a Facebook user asked.

Whether it is a deepfake or not is not yet known but the video has once again fuelled debates about internet safety and data protection in the age of deep fakes and fake news.

What is a deepfake?

A 'deepfake' is a morphed or manipulated video created using applications that use AI and deep learning techniques to create highly deceptive media. Deepfakes can be created to look, walk and talk like a person. While the idea and process of manipulated videos has been around since the 90s when it was first developed by academic institutes and researchers, the use of the current word 'deepfake' was started y a Reddit user of the same name in 2007. Since then, deepfakes use advanced technology and have been used in several celebrity sex scandals, politicians' videos and other kinds of fake news.