A deepfake video of Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg has gone viral online. In the AI-produced performance, Zuckerberg apologizes for the unforeseen negative impact on politics and society brought about by his social media platform
“I was naive about Russian interference in the 2016 election, and I’m still being naive about domestic interference in 2020,” said the simulated Zuckerberg in the video clip. In the same tape, he also confesses to helping fuel ethnic hatred in Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
While Zuckerberg has been the subject of deepfakes in the past, the creator of the video, artist Stephanie Lepp, was careful to point out that the video isn’t real. The video makes this clear as well.
It is part of an ongoing project called Deep Reckonings, which deploys deepfake technology to create fictionalized versions of controversial figures reflecting on their behavior.
The goal, according to the Deep Reckonings website, is to allow for Mark Zuckerberg, as well as Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and others “to be the kinds of people who publicly take responsibility for their actions,” with the final goal being to make their public introspection “real.”
“This video is fake. And it’s explicit that it’s fake, so we won’t take it down. But what would it take for me to do the real version? What would it take to change my mind?” asks the fake Zuckerberg.