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Lip-syncing app Wombo shows the messy, meme-laden potential of deepfakes

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It’s Wombo time. | Image: Wombo

You’ve probably already seen a Wombo video floating around your social media. Maybe it was Ryu from Street Fighter singing the “Witch Doctor” or the last three heads of the US Federal Reserve miming in unison to Rick Astley’s “Never Going to Give You Up.” Each clip features exaggerated facial expressions and uncanny, sometimes nightmarish animation. They’re stupid, fun, and offer a useful look at the current state of deepfakes.

It’s certainly getting quicker and easier to make AI-generated fakes, but the more convincing they are, the more work is needed. The realistic Tom Cruise deepfakes that went viral on TikTok, for example, required an experienced VFX artist, a top-flight impersonator, and weeks of preparation to pull off. One-click…

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