American rapper Kendrick Lamar used deepfake technology in the music video for his new song “The Heart Part 5”. Created in collaboration with a studio named Deep Voodoo, the music video uses deepfakes to morph his face into Kanye West, Nipsey Hussle, Will Smith, O.J. Simpson, and Kobe Bryant. It’s the first time the artist has used deepfakes in his videos.

  • Simultaneously, Kanye West also used deepfake technology for the music video of his Donda track titled "Life of the Party." The video animates the rapper’s childhood photos to sync up with the song.

Zoom Out: The use of deepfake technology in videos has become mainstream recently. Whether used commercially or maliciously, deepfake technology is gaining popularity in daily use. Just recently in March, a video of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy was created through deepfake technology, in which he was seemingly conceding to Russia.

Deepfake 101: Deepfake technology is a product of recent developments in AI. Videos created via this technology utilize a data compaction algorithm called autoencoder. They use generative neural network architectures to manipulate or create visual and audio content in a very realistic way. Naturally, the technology poses a ton of ethical concerns as it can be used to represent someone’s likeness without their permission and can result in the spread of misinformation.

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