See President Richard Nixon deliver some very bad news about the Apollo 11 moon landing in this fake MIT video.

Video screenshot by Bonnie Burton / CNET

The Apollo 11 moon landing July 20, 1969 was a milestone in space history. But what if the astronauts died during their mission to the moon and President Richard Nixon had to deliver tragic news on TV for the American audience?

In this disturbingly real deepfake video, President Nixon brings the news that NASA has failed and astronauts have died on the moon. Deepfakes are video fakes that make people do or say things that they are not. Deepfake software has exposed manipulated videos and made it increasingly difficult to identify them as fakes.

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"Fate has ordered the men who went to the moon to research in peace stay on the moon to rest in peace," says Nixon in the fake video that relates to it Astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.

It took half a year for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AI experts to create the very compelling 7-minute deepfake video that mixes up-to-date NASA footage Nixon made a tragic speech as if Apollo 11 had not successfully completed its mission to the moon.

Deep learning technology from artificial intelligence was used to make Nixon's voice and face movements convincing. The emergency speech (which can be found in the National Archives) was read by an actor.

The MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality launched its new project called In Event of Moon Disaster, which started on Monday to show people the dangerous impact deepfake videos can have on an unsuspecting public.

This is the first time that the deepfake video of Nixon Apollo 11 will be fully presented to the public in autumn 2019 after an installation of physical art at MIT.

"In Event of Moon Disaster is an immersive art project that invites you into an alternative story and encourages all of us to think about how new technologies can bend, redirect, and obscure the truth around us," the project website says. "By creating this alternate story, the project examines the impact and spread of misinformation and counterfeit technology in our society today."

Event of Moon Disaster should not only help people understand deepfakes better, but also explain how deepfakes are made and how they work. how to recognize a deep fake; their possible use and misuse; and what is being done to combat deep counterfeiting and misinformation.

This project is supported by a Mozilla Creative Media Awards grant that builds on Mozilla's mission to create a more trusted AI in consumer technology.


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