Released in 1999, “The Matrix” is a science fiction film directed and written by the Wachowskis. It starred Keanu Reeves as Neo and takes place in a dystopian future with most of the population locked away in a virtual reality created by artificial being to distract humans while using their bodies as an energy source. One thing you may not have known is that Will Smith was originally the first choice to play Neo, but had to turn down the role to make “Wild Wild West”. Thanks to deepfake technology, we can now see what he would have looked like in the film.
After Will Smith turned down the role, the Wachowskis phoned Nicolas Cage, Brad Pitt and Val Kilmer, but when they were all unavailable, Reeves was cast. Now, deepfake technology, which makes extensive use of artificial intelligence, can seamlessly superimpose existing images and videos onto other sources via a generative adversarial network (GAN). This technique allows the network to be trained on photographs and then generate new ones that look authentic to human viewers.