Every year, the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II inspires people with her Christmas Day message. However, a video entitled The Alternative Christmas Message 2020 went viral instead of her real speech.
The alternative Christmas message video shows Queen Elizabeth dancing, which was shared by Channel 4 on various social media platforms. The UK broadcaster was behind the creation of the video using Artificial Intelligence (AI) software.
— Channel 4 (@Channel4) December 25, 2020
The technology behind the mind-blowing alternative Christmas message is called “deepfake.” It is an AI software capable of copying facial expressions and other gestures.
The alternative Christmas message is a warning about the dangers of deepfake AI technology
Channel 4 explains that the video is meant to make people aware of the existence of deepfake AI technology and warn them of the dangers of fake news dangers. It is also meant to show that it is easy to manipulate the masses using technology.
The UK broadcaster said, “the fake video is supposed to deliver a stark warning about the advanced technology that is enabling the proliferation of misinformation and fake news in a digital age.”
Channel 4 hired virtual effects studio “Framestore” to create the fake dancing Queen Elizabeth video. Framestore used an original video of the Queen to copy her facial expressions and gestures using the deepfake AI software. The studio also used 3D design skills to make her perform some TikTok dancing moves.
The fake video also shows Queen Elizabeth discussing the decision of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan to move to North America. She supposedly said, “There are few things more hurtful than someone telling you they prefer the company of Canadians,”
Channel 4 Director of ProgrammesIan Katz explained, “Deepfake technology is the frightening new frontier in the battle between misinformation and truth.”
“This year’s Alternative Christmas Address — seemingly delivered by one of the most familiar and trusted figures in the nation — is a powerful reminder that we can no longer trust our own eyes.”
Queen Elizabeth says, “You are not alone”
In the real Christmas message, Queen Elizabeth thanked frontline workers for their sacrifices during the COVID-19 pandemic and condoled families who were unable to celebrate Christmas with their families due to the restrictions imposed by the United Kingdom following the outbreak of a new COVID-19 strain.
Queen Elizabeth said, “For Christians Jesus is the light of the world. But we can’t celebrate his birth today in quite the usual way. People of all faiths have been unable to gather as they would wish for their festivals…Remarkably, a year that has necessarily kept people apart has, in many ways, brought us closer…”
“In the United Kingdom and around the world, people have risen magnificently to the challenges of the year, and I am so proud and moved by this quiet, indomitable spirit…We continue to be inspired by the kindness of strangers and draw comfort that even on the darkest nights there is hope in the new dawn.”
Queen Elizabeth noted that the “wonderful story of kindness” about the good Samaritan in the Bible is “still relevant today.” She said, “Good Samaritans emerged across society showing care and respect for all regardless of gender, race, and background, reminding us that each one of us is special and equal in the eyes of God.”
Furthermore, the Queen said, “Of course for many, this time of year will be tinged with sadness – some mourning the loss of those dear to them and others missing friends and family members distanced for safety when all they really want for Christmas is a simple hug or a squeeze of the hand. If you are among them, you are not alone, and let me assure you of my thoughts and prayers.”
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