THE ‘QUEEN’ is filmed dancing on a table during her Christmas address to the nation – but all is not quite as it seems.
Channel 4 will air a ‘deepfake’ version of the monarch’s annual speech in which she reveals Prince Andrew’s travel plans and what she really thinks about Prince Harry.
The alternative take on the Queen’s Speech comes as a warning to Brits against the use of ‘deepfake’ technology, which is able to swap people’s faces with others to create fictional situations that appear real.
During the clip, the Queen, played by actress Debra Stephenson, breaks into a TikTok dance routine which she hopes will get her onto Strictly Come Dancing.
She also speaks “plainly and from the heart” in the address to reveal what she and Prince Philip have been up to in lockdown, revealing her penchant for "Netflix and Phil".
The 'monarch' then goes on to address her son Andrew who is embroiled in a sex scandal and grandson Harry and his wife Meghan’s move to Canada and then Los Angeles.
The Queen says: "Which is why I was so saddened by the departure of Harry and Meghan. There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians.
“But at least I still have my beloved Andrew close by. It seems unlikely he’ll be heading to North America any time soon.”
What are ‘deepfakes’?
- Deepfake videos are made using artificial intelligence technology which can manipulate someone's face in a video to make it look like they are saying something that they didn't.
- A machine learning algorithm swaps out the faces frame-by-frame until it spits out a realistic, but fake, video
- It's one level up from dubbing, or lip syncing and can appear very convincing.
- There's rising concern among experts that convincing deepfakes could be used to spread misinformation and fake news on social media.
- Canada’s cybersecurity agency, The Communications Securities Establishment, last year warned that deepfakes pose a threat to democracy.
Ending the address, she offers a stark warning against misinformation and 'deepfakes', warning viewers to question “whether what we see and hear is always as it seems”.
'Deepfake' technology has become increasingly prevalent over recent years and can be used to create convincing but completely manufactured video content of celebrities and high-profile figures.
Former US president Barack Obama has been the subject of a barrage of deepfake videos in the past three years, which many viewers were convinced were real.
Another eerily realistic clip that surfaced last year shows former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn backing rival Boris Johnson to become Prime Minister.
The end of the Queen's message shows the artificially created images fading away to reveal the green screen used to manufacture images of Buckingham Palace – and show it was in fact Stephenson playing the Queen.
Channel 4's alternative Christmas message airs opposite the BBC's broadcast of the Queen's official televised address to the nation at 3.25pm on Christmas Day.
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