|Original story at:
Boston Globe Online
||David Sadler For Congress 12th CD/Illinois|
At MIT, they can put words in our mouths
Photo: Ford Motor Company & prweb.com
Ford Brings Actor Steve McQueen Back To Life In Mustang Ads
Detroit Free Press
October 15, 2003
To introduce its six new cars and trucks, Ford Motor Co.'s namesake brand is launching an aggressive and energetic marketing campaign.
Highlighted by the digital resurrection of the late movie legend Steve McQueen, the ads also feature a new tagline and a hip Jimi Hendrix-like rendition of the national anthem that uses the sounds of a Mustang's engine and wheels.
Ford Division President Steve Lyons unveiled the ads and discussed the division's marketing strategy during an announcement Thursday at Dearborn's Ford Community and Performing Arts Center. About 1,000 company employees attended.
Two separate "The Legend Lives" Mustang commercials -- one featuring McQueen and the other a clever interpretation of the national anthem -- are to begin airing in November.
In "Cornfield," McQueen is beckoned to a field in a way reminiscent of the 1989 Kevin Costner movie, "Field of Dreams." A farmer builds a racetrack, and McQueen materializes like a ghost to rip it up in a shiny new Mustang, just as he did in the 1968 film "Bullitt."
A red Mustang proves the centerpiece during "Anthem," 60 seconds of a V8 engine humming and rumbling, and wheels spinning and screeching, to sound like "The Star Spangled Banner."
When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing
"For Hollywood, it is special effects. For covert operators in the U.S. military and intelligence agencies, it is a weapon of the future.
Digital morphing — voice, video, and photo — has come of age, available for use in psychological operations. PSYOPS, as the military calls it, seek to exploit human vulnerabilities in enemy governments, militaries and populations to pursue national and battlefield objectives.
Pentagon planners started to discuss digital morphing after Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Covert operators kicked around the idea of creating a computer-faked videotape of Saddam Hussein crying or showing other such manly weaknesses, or in some sexually compromising situation. The nascent plan was for the tapes to be flooded into Iraq and the Arab world.
The tape war never proceeded, killed, participants say, by bureaucratic fights over jurisdiction, skepticism over the technology, and concerns raised by Arab coalition partners.
But the "strategic" PSYOPS scheming didn't die. What if the U.S. projected a holographic image of Allah floating over Baghdad urging the Iraqi people and Army to rise up against Saddam, a senior Air Force officer asked in 1990? According to a military physicist given the task of looking into the hologram idea, the feasibility had been established of projecting large, three-dimensional objects that appeared to float in the air.
The Gulf War hologram story might be dismissed were it not the case that washingtonpost.com has learned that a super secret program was established in 1994 to pursue the very technology for PSYOPS application. The "Holographic Projector" is described in a classified Air Force document as a system to "project information power from space ... for special operations deception missions."
Voice-morphing? Fake video? Holographic projection? They sound more like Mission Impossible and Star Trek gimmicks than weapons. Yet for each, there are corresponding and growing research efforts as the technologies improve and offensive information warfare expands.
Video and photo manipulation has already raised profound questions of authenticity for the journalistic world. With audio joining the mix, it is not only journalists but also privacy advocates and the conspiracy-minded who will no doubt ponder the worrisome mischief that lurks in the not too distant future."
5.6 Airborne Holographic Projector
Extract from Air Force 2025
Original link: USAF
Why this link is no longer there.
Wayback Machine archive
FAS archive of Air Force 2025
"The holographic projector displays a three-dimensional visual image in a desired location, removed from the display generator. The projector can be used for psychological operations and strategic perception management. It is also useful for optical deception and cloaking, providing a momentary distraction when engaging an unsophisticated adversary."
Fake videos are on the rise. As they become more realistic, seeing shouldn't always be believing
Los Angeles Times
Original link: LA Times
Wayback Machine archive if needed.
"All it takes is a single selfie.
"From that static image, an algorithm can quickly create a moving, lifelike avatar: a video not recorded, but fabricated from whole cloth by software.
"With more time, Pinscreen, the Los Angeles start-up behind the technology, believes its renderings will become so accurate they will defy reality.
"You won't be able to tell," said Hao Li, a leading researcher on computer-generated video at USC who founded Pinscreen in 2015. "With further deep-learning advancements, especially on mobile devices, we'll be able to produce completely photoreal avatars in real time."
Adobe's VoCo voice project: Now you really can put words in someone else's mouth
It may be hard to trust the authenticity of any recorded speech in the not too distant future.
Original link: Project VoCo at its annual MAX event
Wayback Machine archive if needed.
"You may soon be able to make people say things they never did, if Adobe one day gets to release its new voice-editing software.
"The company showed off Project VoCo yesterday at its annual MAX event, revealing a tool that will do for audio what Photoshop does for the manipulation of images.
"As The Verge reports, with about a 20-minute recording of a speaker's voice, VoCo can be used to insert single new words that the speaker never said and even create entirely new, natural-sounding sentences.
"The technology was demonstrated by researcher Zeyu Jin, who was offering MAX attendees a sneak peak at products under development. It's not clear whether VoCo will eventually be released as a product. Adobe Research is collaborating with Princeton University on the project."
Added: 2006.01.22: controlled media
Army 'psyops' at CNN
by Geoff Metcalf [firstname.lastname@example.org]
CNN employed active duty U.S. Army psychological operations personnel last year, WorldNetDaily has confirmed through several sources at Fort Bragg and elsewhere.
Maj. Thomas Collins, U.S. Information Service has confirmed that "psyops" (psychological operations) personnel, soldiers and officers, have worked in the CNN headquarters in Atlanta. The lend/lease exercise was part of an Army program called "Training With Industry." According to Collins, the soldiers and officers, "... worked as regular employees of CNN. Conceivably, they would have worked on stories during the Kosovo war. They helped in the production of news."
When asked if the introduction of military personnel into a civilian news organization was standard operating procedure, one source said, "That question is above my pay grade ... but I hope so. It's what we do."
The CNN military personnel were members of the Airmobile Fourth Psychological Operations Group, stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. One of the main tasks of this group of almost 1200 soldiers and officers is to spread 'selected information.' Critics say that means dissemination of propaganda.
Cable News Network suffered a major embarrassment in the wake of the 'Tailwind' story it aired, alleging the U.S. government used lethal sarin gas to kill suspected defectors during the Vietnam war. After WorldNetDaily was the first news organization to expose the fraudulent news production, two CNN producers were fired and, eventually, CNN veteran reporter Peter Arnett also was ousted. In that case, Retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Perry Smith quit his long-time job as a military adviser to CNN.
What about now? Has the U.S. military been in a position to have influenced directly CNN's news reports about the crisis in Kosovo?
Collins claims a "handful" of military assets were assigned to CNN for weeks "to get to know the company and to broaden their horizons." The Major asserts "they didn't work under the control of the army."
Several sources have confirmed the temporary outplacement of U.S. Army psyops personnel started two or three years ago, and they have been integrated into "various sectors of society." The assignment durations have been short-term up to one full year, depending on the mission. When asked, "What were the missions?" responses to WND varied from "No comment.", "... need to know," to smiles, and, in one case, an obscene recommendation.
CNN is the most watched and widely viewed news outlet in the world. During Operation Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein regularly watched CNN for battlefield intelligence. The symbiotic, intimate relationship between CNN and army psyops specialists has raised many eyebrows, with critics saying it raises doubts about CNN's journalistic integrity and independence.
The Fourth Psyop Group has been involved in the Gulf War, the Bosnian War and the Kosovo crisis. American psyops troops attempt to influence media and public opinion in armed conflicts in which American state interests are said to be at stake.
News coverage of the war in Kosovo, by CNN and other media, has been criticized as "one-sided, overly emotional, over-simplified and relying too heavily on NATO officials," observed a report from the Netherlands.
CNN has not thus far commented officially on the allegations. Megan Mahoney, a CNN spokeswoman recently said, "I don't believe that we would employ military personnel; it doesn't seem like something we would normally do." However, now that the U.S. Army Information Service has confirmed the news, Mahoney said she would have to contact CNN's senior officials.