Today we share “An examination of various video manipulation technologies and the predictive programming embedded in major motion pictures that demonstrate the effectiveness of such technologies for use in psychological warfare and establishment propaganda.
Press reports warn that newly-developed digital data manipulation software which automate the creation of fake pictures, videos, or audio recordings could be used for political deception or military advantage.
Moviegoers are used to elaborate special effects, but until recently that required expensive and time-consuming, frame-by-frame, post-production work. Now, however, software developed since the mid-1990s permit much faster, even real-time, special effects.
Real-time video manipulation allows the deletion of people or objects from a live broadcast or the insertion of pre-recorded images.
The technology has commercial applications: it is used in sports broadcasting to generate a virtual first-down line or virtual billboards. It is also used, more controversially, in some news programming (see January 13, 2000).
A related technology called digital morphing is now available to create virtual characters who can convincingly imitate real-life persons, as in the film Forrest Gump. Voice morphing, a technology developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, allows the creation of computer speech based on a short recording of someones voice. The virtual voice can be surprisingly life-like: the robotic intonations are a thing of the past.
For intelligence agencies and PSYOPS (psychological operations) personnel the new techniques are potential weapons of the future. While the public at large is familiar with edited or photoshopped images, it is not yet aware of the possibilities for audio or real-time video deception.