Doctored video starring Ardern, Gayford in The Princess Bride draws mixed reviews

“I don’t know whether that was disturbingly delightful or delightfully disturbing. Can’t decide.”

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Using deepfake technology, a YouTuber has superimposed the pair’s faces to star in the classic movie. Source: Breakfast

That’s the sentiment from social media users after a doctored video of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and partner Clarke Gayford starring in the cult classic movie The Princess Bride surfaced online. 

It prompted Gayford to ask on Twitter: “OK who made this and um… why??” 

Using AI-powered deepfake technology, YouTube user Genuine Fake has superimposed Ardern and Gayford on the faces of love birds Buttercup and Westley.

Titled The Princess and the Farmboy - Jacinda Ardern/ Clarke Gayford, the clip has amassed more than 23,000 views since it was posted earlier this month. 

It’s the latest in the user’s series of doctored videos featuring New Zealand politicians, which in the past have also included National’s Judith Collins and Paula Bennett, former NZ First MP Winston Peters, and the Greens’ Marama Davidson, James Shaw and Chlöe Swarbrick.

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While the video appears to have been created for fun, the technology can be used maliciously. 

In August last year, Netsafe told 1 NEWS it had received its first report of an identity of a New Zealander being used in deepfaked pornography. At the time, the online safety organisation said it had received four reports of deepfakes in the past year. 

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It uses artificial intelligence to manipulate footage, swap faces, or put words in someone's mouth, blurring the lines between what's real and not. Source: 1 NEWS

“People are not even creating content and they're turning up in pornographic content, and other people are seeing it and assuming it's real - it's a pretty serious consequence of this technology,” Netsafe chief executive Martin Cocker said.

“We're going to see deepfake technology more and more in scams than we are now.”

More recently, the technology was used by Channel 4 in the UK to fake a Christmas message from the Queen