This Insane Netflix AI Reality Show is Testing Relationships
A video of your GF cheating... do you believe it?
DeepFake Love: Netflix Spain
Let’s start today’s post with a big congratulations to Spain for their World Cup Final win against England this morning.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s turn to one of the most bizarre things from Spain and the world of reality TV and AI. It’s a brand new Netflix original show called DeepFake Love, and you won’t believe what it’s about.
With writers striking in the US and studios now commissioning more reality TV than usual, perhaps this controversial Spanish show will be remade in the USA later this year. So we might as well check in on it.
Reality shows tend to jump on the latest trends and incorporate them into their dramatic episodes. But Netflix Spain’s DeepFake Love goes all in on the artificial intelligence hype and produces an entire show around it.
The series opens much like any Love Island-inspired reality show. There are lots of attractive couples arriving at a beautiful villa. The women wear tiny bikinis, and all of the men have chiselled jaws and rock-solid six-packs.
But then host Raquel Sánchez Silva tells us of the surprisingly evil twist this reality show contains…
The show features five committed couples, some heterosexual and some same-sex. All of whom are in long-term relationships lasting up to 9 years. They are split into groups away from their partners and then presented with ten gorgeous singles who don’t seem to mind that the existing contestants already have romantic partners. It must be said that Spanish reality television appears to feature way more on-camera sex than ever before seen.
It all sounds pretty standard for trash reality TV till this point — but wait.
The crucial part is that on their way into the villas, each reality show contestant had their faces scanned and uploaded to a particular AI model…
And so comes the big evil twist of the show.
Host Raquel sits down with the contestants and shows them horrifically brutal footage of their partners cheating on them in the other Villa. It’s genuinely shocking and emotional television, but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Raquel explains that some, or maybe all, of the footage they are showing the contestants of their partners cheating has been constructed using artificial intelligence deepfake technology.
As well as scanning their faces from all angles, the producers employed perfect-body double actors to help recreate critical moments from the show but with different endings.
And it’s these body doubles which genuinely make the footage so impressively realistic. Sure, most of the clips are concise, but oh dear god, does that footage look exactly like a shot of their partner cheating on them in the infinity pool with a sexy Spanish man…
While we’ve all by now seen deepfakes of famous politicians, the viral bottomless fake Tom Cruise on TikTok, or deepfakes of actors being brought back to life for big movies – the fact that Netflix placed the digital masks of their contestants on top of body doubles with near identical hair and facial structure is what truly makes it look so authentic.
Screenshot: Netflix Trailer
The contestants are then asked whether they believe the footage of their partner cheating is a deepfake or a genuine video of their partner breaking their heart. Guess correctly, and they move forwards in the show.
Yes, the concept is cruel and manipulative and pretty wild to wrap your head around. And yet, the contestants make their decisions in all sorts of ways and lock them in by pressing one of the two buttons in front of them.
The winner, oddly enough, is not the couple who remains faithful.
No, the winner will be the couple who accurately labels the most clips as real or fake. This means the season could end with a couple who cheated on each other a bunch, winning simply because they were correct in guessing which contestants they kissed.
Though this is a perhaps meaningless reality television series, the show highlights just how powerfully accurate these AI-generated deepfakes can be.
You can see why the FEC is considering regulating the use of deepfakes in US campaign ads ahead of the 2024 election. When the time comes that this technology is so easily accessible by anyone, and anyone can create deepfakes or do anything, how will we know what to trust online?
You can mull over that big conversation starter while we go ahead and apply to be on the US version of DeepFake Love (if it ever comes this way).
💬 For the Group Chat!
Copy and paste it — we won’t tell anyone.