South Park creators’ deepfake video startup Deep Voodoo raises $20 million in new funding TechCrunch

Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park and many other media for many years, have raised $20 million to continue working on their professional deepfake studio for creators, Deep Voodoo.

The company began operations during the media shutdown in 2020, when the pandemic prevented most travel and production at the studio. Parker and Stone began assembling a team of AI artists for a film they were developing, and when COVID intervened, they focused on creating tools for later use.

“We stumbled across this amazing technology and ended up recruiting the best deepfake artists in the world,” said Stone. said in an announcement on Deep Voodoo’s website. I’ve reached out for more information and will update this post if I get a response.

The Parker/Stone mark was shown when the company went public with a character no less than Kendrick Lamar. The video for “The Heart Part 5” features the musician delivering his lyrics in seemingly one go, but when he speaks straight into the camera, his face resembles human aspects. Others: OJ Simpson, Nipsey Hussle, Kobe Bryant and Kanye West:

Of course, it’s clear that deepfake technology was used for this — just as it’s clear that the Dragons in Game of Thrones aren’t real. It’s still remarkably effective, even if the alternative isn’t meant to be perfect.

Since then, with the help of $20 million from Connect Ventures, Deep Voodoo “started making available” its technology to others in the business.

Of course, it’s not the only one doing so for a long time. Digital de-aging and “re-representation” as it is sometimes called has become a staple of Disney media, despite early efforts (a wax Grand Moff Tarkin and young Luke Skywalker). less convincing) was not well received by the audience.

The technology clearly exists, but how it will be used creatively — and ethically — remains an open question. Stone and Parker, despite their reputation for unflattering humor and flirtatious controversy, appear to be lucid thinkers when it comes to fundamental questions about fairness and storytelling. That is a start.

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