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Creepy Apollo 11 Nixon deepfake video created by MIT to show dangers of high-tech misinformation


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Nixon's contingency speech was to be used if NASA mission failed

James Rogers

July 21 2020

Scientists at MIT have digitally manipulated video and audio to create a creepy deepfake of President Nixon “delivering” a speech that would have been used in the event of an Apollo 11 disaster.

Written in 1969, the contingency speech was to be used if NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were unable to return from the moon.

The video is part of a project entitled “In Event of Moon Disaster” that aims to highlight the dangers of deepfakes, which use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create false, but realistic-looking clips.

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Doctored videos have been in the spotlight recent years. In 2019, for example, video clips of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, were manipulated to falsely depict her as drunk, sparking outrage.

“In Event of Moon Disaster” is part of what MIT describes as a “digital storytelling project.” The initiative is the brainchild of MIT’s Center for Advanced Virtuality.

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