The Deep Fake Future – True Conspiracy Gone Awry w/ Jacob Michael King - Troubled Minds Radio
Wed Jul 24, 2024

The Deep Fake Future – True Conspiracy Gone Awry w/ Jacob Michael King

Join us as we enter the uncanny valley and talk deep fakes, propaganda, and conspiracy theories with Jacob Michael King – writer, and director of Caviar.

“Caviar” is Jacob Michael King’s cinematic debut and is described as a conspiracy-tinged thriller. The film centers around a character named Antigone, who is mourning the death of her well-known political pundit brother, Jeremiah. As their father, Eddie, slips further into dementia, Antigone decides to keep Jeremiah’s YouTube show going. The story takes a turn when Antigone receives a video from Jeremiah, who appears to be alive and claims to have uncovered a vast conspiracy with far-reaching implications. This leads Antigone on a quest to discover the truth, questioning who she can trust along the way. See the movie here for free!

The movie delves into the uncomfortable world of a quickly evolving uncanny valley effect. The uncanny valley is the point at which a digital or robotic representation of a human becomes so realistic that it causes discomfort—has long been a stumbling block in media and art. However, as technology continues to advance, we are on the precipice of conquering this uncanny valley. With the rise of virtual reality, augmented reality, and hyperrealistic deepfake technology, artists and media creators are crafting experiences that seamlessly blend the digital and the physical, the real and the artificial. As we cross the threshold of the uncanny valley, we step into a new era of hyperreality—a state in which the line between what’s real and what’s constructed becomes increasingly blurred. This shift has profound implications for how we consume media and engage with art. In this hyperreal landscape, our understanding of authenticity, representation, and truth is challenged. It prompts us to question and redefine our perceptions, opening up new avenues for creativity, storytelling, and experiential art. However, it also comes with ethical and philosophical dilemmas that society will need to navigate carefully.

In the era of hyperreality where media, art, and reality intertwine, conspiracy theories can become an intricate part of the narrative fabric, prompting deeper discussions around independent thought, free speech, and propaganda. Conspiracy theories, when viewed as independent thought, can stimulate critical thinking, skepticism, and challenge mainstream narratives, fostering a society that is not quick to accept information at face value. However, they can easily tread into the territory of misinformation, distorting the perception of reality, which is particularly concerning in a hyperreal landscape where truth and fiction are already indistinguishable. On the other hand, propaganda—information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view—can be amplified in this new media environment. While it can be seen as a tool for shaping public opinion or maintaining social harmony, it can also manipulate beliefs, stifle dissent, and perpetuate harmful ideologies. In essence, the line between conspiracy theories as a form of independent thought and free speech, and propaganda, is a delicate one. It’s a balance between fostering a society that encourages questioning and independent thinking, and preventing the spread of harmful, misleading narratives. As we continue to navigate this hyperreal landscape, discerning this balance will be critical to preserving the integrity of public discourse and the health of our democracies.

Innovative storytelling in the era of deepfakes and hyperreality is transforming the landscape of narrative creation, enabling possibilities that were once confined to the realm of imagination. Deepfake technology facilitates the incorporation of real-world figures into fictional contexts, giving storytellers the ability to weave in historical figures or celebrities into their narratives in a way that was previously challenging or impossible.

The ability to manipulate time and age with deepfakes opens up new frontiers in storytelling. Characters can age or de-age, offering narratives that span across many decades or even time travel, creating a seamless experience that can captivate audiences with its realism.

Moreover, deepfakes introduce the potential for posthumous performances, allowing deceased actors to continue contributing to a narrative, or even to star in new roles. This, while ethically complex, offers an interesting dimension to storytelling, extending the life and influence of an actor beyond their physical existence.

The technology also enables the creation of impossible performances, where actors can embody multiple characters or undergo transformations beyond the scope of traditional special effects. This can greatly enhance the depth and variety of narratives, challenging the boundaries of what’s possible in film and media.

Finally, deepfakes might pave the way towards interactive and personalized narratives. Imagine a future where viewers can insert themselves into a story, influence the actions of characters, or even modify the narrative’s direction. This could revolutionize storytelling, making it an immersive and highly personalized experience.

Innovative storytelling with deepfakes holds immense potential but also raises significant ethical and legal considerations. As we embrace this new narrative landscape, it’s crucial to navigate these challenges with care, maintaining a balance between creative exploration and respect for individual rights and authenticity.

In the film CAVIAR, there is a correlation brought up between owls and UFOs. In the realm of UFO lore, mythology, and conspiracy theories, owls sometimes appear as symbols or even as alleged screen memories.

A “screen memory” is a psychological phenomenon where a person subconsciously blocks a traumatic or disturbing event by replacing it with a more benign memory. Some people who claim to have had encounters with aliens or UFO abductions report seeing owls, either before or after their experiences. Some theorists propose that these owls might be screen memories masking the true, more disturbing memory of an alien encounter.

Mike Clelland, a researcher in the field of UFOlogy, has written extensively about the connection between owls and UFO sightings in his book “The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee.” He posits that the recurring owl motif in abduction stories signifies a deeper, symbolic connection.

As for the movie “Caviar”, it seems to be playing off these themes in an innovative way to create a unique narrative. The owls might be symbolic or could be a part of the conspiracy theory narrative that the movie is exploring.

The conspiracy theories in the film involve aliens, owls (who may or may not be aliens or demons from another dimension or planet), MKUltra, child sacrifice, and presumably others. The film seems to aim for a sense of uncertainty and confusion, leaving the audience unsure of what exactly happened even after it’s over.

As for the adrenochrome conspiracy theory, it is a conspiracy theory that posits high-ranking figures in society (such as politicians, celebrities, etc.) are involved in the harvesting of a substance called adrenochrome from children for use as a drug. Adrenochrome is a real chemical compound, but there’s no scientific evidence to suggest it has any of the properties ascribed to it by conspiracy theorists.

The movie “Caviar” presents a unique exploration of deepfake technology, specifically using this technology to create simulated appearances of public figures and influencers. These deepfakes serve as a pivotal plot device, adding an extra layer of intrigue and mystery to the narrative. They also raise several important considerations about the ethical implications and potential misuse of deepfake technology.

Deepfakes, a term derived from “deep learning” and “fake”, refer to synthetic media in which a person in an existing image or video is replaced with someone else’s likeness using artificial neural networks. In the context of the film, deepfakes are used to impersonate real politicians, with professional lookalikes and deep fake audio clips used to create a sense of hyperreality, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. This use of technology intensifies the film’s exploration of conspiracy theories and misinformation, providing a tangible example of how such theories can be propagated and believed.

In real-world scenarios, the misuse of deepfake technology could have serious implications. For instance, deepfakes could be used to create misleading videos of public figures or influencers, potentially causing confusion, spreading false information, or damaging reputations. This could lead to a range of harmful outcomes, from the manipulation of public opinion to potential national security risks.

In “Caviar”, the use of deepfakes serves as both a narrative device and a commentary on these potential risks. While the film presents a fictional scenario, it also underscores the need for vigilance and critical thinking in the face of increasingly sophisticated digital misinformation.

However, it’s important to note that while deepfake technology can be used for nefarious purposes, it also has potential positive applications. For example, it can be used in filmmaking for special effects or for creating realistic digital actors, as well as in other fields like education, historical recreation, and more. As with any technology, the ethical implications of its use depend largely on how and why it is used.

Digital resurrection, also known as “virtual resurrection” or “digital reincarnation”, refers to the use of technology to recreate a deceased individual’s likeness, often in the form of a 3D model, hologram, or deepfake. This technology has been used in a variety of contexts, from entertainment and media to memorials and tributes.

In the world of film and media, digital resurrection has been used to bring back the likeness of deceased actors for new roles or to complete roles they were unable to finish due to their death. This has been done with actors such as Peter Cushing in “Star Wars: Rogue One”, where his character Grand Moff Tarkin was digitally recreated, and Paul Walker in “Furious 7”, where his unfinished scenes were completed using digital recreation and body doubles.

The technology used to accomplish this typically involves a combination of computer-generated imagery (CGI), motion capture technology, and sometimes, deepfake technology. This can create a highly realistic and convincing likeness of the deceased individual, allowing them to “perform” posthumously.

However, digital resurrection raises a number of ethical and legal questions. For example, there’s the issue of consent: who has the right to authorize the use of a deceased actor’s likeness, and under what circumstances? This is a complex issue involving copyright law, the rights of heirs, and the deceased’s own wishes, which may not always be clear.

There’s also the question of whether digital resurrection respects the dignity and legacy of the deceased. Is it right to have actors performing new roles after their death, potentially in ways they might not have agreed with?

Finally, there’s the risk that the use of digital resurrection could lead to fewer opportunities for living actors. If filmmakers can simply resurrect deceased stars for new roles, this could limit opportunities for new talent.

While digital resurrection is a powerful tool that offers exciting possibilities for film and media, it also raises significant ethical and legal challenges that need to be carefully considered.

Antigone, in Greek mythology, was the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta. After the death of Oedipus, her brothers Eteocles and Polynices fought for the throne of Thebes. Polynices was exiled and commanded an army against his brother, resulting in their deaths. Antigone pleaded with the new king, Creon, to bury Polynices, but he refused as Polynices was considered a traitor. Antigone defied Creon and buried her brother herself, leading to her arrest. Creon later had a change of heart and went to release her, but she had already hanged herself. Creon’s son and wife also committed suicide in grief.