Atlas Deepfake

Well, well, people are so desperate to have robots that they’re willing to propagate phony videos of the Boston Dynamics humanoid in action

This worked great for Corridor Digital, a Los Angeles VFX house, who wanted to parody some of the real videos, including the one of Atlas where it is being “taunted”. A great job of motion capture plus blending in robot body

Corridor Digital Video Site:

Corridor Digital is doing a great parody of the BD madness. But the real fun comes when you visit tech blogs discussing the face (I wonder how many of them were initially duped) that use the parody to encode pious preaching about how the “robot uprising” will be much deadlier than the video… The proof? The VFX looks a little like real Atlas videos.

Boston Dynamic Videos:

To their credit, BD actually linked the Corridor video on their own youtube site. All in all, some great shared digital publicity.

But the media appeared caught in a 5-year old’s understanding of both videos…

Gizmodo erupted in crazed slobber of pseudo-news, where (despite the parody), the author takes it as “truth” and preaches to us that the robots will rise up and destroy us, in the best religious fantasy tradition –

In fact, the deepfake appears to have made the author think it is more likely that the robots will rise. CGI “proves” something is real!

The Verge is slightly more sensible, and uses the parody as a discussion about how people feel empathy for things that don’t have a mind, if they act a certain way –

The real problem is that people will see mind and consciousness where there is none, and act accordingly…

“(From the Verge) As MIT researcher and robot ethicist Kate Darling puts it: ‘We’re biologically hardwired to project intent and life onto any movement in our physical space that seems autonomous to us. So people will treat all sorts of robots like they’re alive.’”

Most of the coverage by “lower” tech blogs deleted the fantastic parts of the parody, dropped the quality (so the CGI was harder to see), and simply let people believe an angry robot was breaking out of its cage.

Of course, our “new media” need clickbait, and as always, it is best to distribution religious text. The techno-singularian vision of the future has become more than a cult, and is in fact a replacement for traditional religion in techies. Deepfakes like this are OK because they are “truthy” – they could be true, so we believe!

This is part of a larger problem for our society. The rise of CGI has made people “believe” that anything that can be 3D modeled “could be real”. This is why companies like Facebook and Uber churn out bullshit images of “air cars” that tech media and groupies unthinkly accept as “just around the corner”.

I suspect the writers don’t understand that Uber can endlessly create these CGI videos to look trendy, and rake in gains in stock price. Actually making this helicopter (that’s what it is) would be difficult and dangerous. Better to make a phony video, then say it could be true just around the corner.

So be worried – not abut the BD robot, but about the millions of craven pixel-pushers desperate for a god to worship and (human) sacrifice for…

Chickens run around with their heads cut off, and the BD robot is on its way to being a decapitated chicken in several years. Fascinating that said chicken is touted as our destruction.

Published by pindiespace

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