YouTube’s certified deepfakes

November 17th, 2023

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Do what you can, kid. Happy Friday, FutureParty people. ICYMI, it was quite the week in the world of hip-hop. Not only did Drake drop a surprise album and Snoop quit smoking, but Leonardo DiCaprio rapped “DWYCK” by Gang Starr at his star-studded birthday bash. We’re not sure about you, but our 2023 bingo card is looking pretty weird right now.

In other news… YouTube’s latest AI tool deepfakes popular artists, F1 hits the runway in Vegas, and Wes Anderson curates a cinema club.

Top Trends

YouTube → Imaginary

Google → Snoop Dogg

Reddit → Martin Scorsese

Spotify → “Catfish Blues”

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Courtesy of YouTube

YouTube debuts an artist deepfake generator

The Future. YouTube is giving users the ability to generate “original” song clips with AI and the voices of top artists like Charli XCX and John Legend. While the feature will likely open up Pandora’s Box on the eventual creation of a legion of deepfake songs (you know people are going to hack this), YouTube may be trying to give musicians a fun way to market themselves and stay atop the short-form video conversation — a move that could be a major revenue stream for musicians and help YouTube finally catch up with TikTok’s dominance.

Short soundtracks
YouTube, with the permission of artists, is giving everyone the opportunity to become Fake Drake.

  • Dream Scenario allows users to type a songwriting prompt and select a participating artist, which the tool then turns into an up-to-30-second song snippet in the voice of the artist (hear a demo here).

  • Nine artists have already signed up to clone their voices: Alec Benjamin, Charlie Puth, Charli XCX, Demi Lovato, John Legend, Papoose, Sia, T-Pain, and Troye Sivan.

  • The feature, built on Google DeepMind’s Lyria AI music-generation system, is currently in beta with select artists and creators to collect feedback before a wider rollout.

YouTube, which has been working with UMG and WMG on AI tools and guardrails, stresses the feature will abide by its three generative AI principles: mutual collaboration, copyright protection, and trust and safety. Also, it’s introduced requirements for labeling AI-generated content and streamlined ways for artists to request takedowns of unauthorized deepfakes.

That all may have been key for selling this to the participating artists, who are probably receiving a significant kickback for being included… and will likely dominate trending topics when the tool hits the mainstream and is on every Short imaginable.

Your turn at the mic, TikTok.

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Courtesy of Puma

The Las Vegas Grand Prix is making fashion splurge

The Future. This weekend’s Las Vegas Grand Prix is attracting major cultural attention, thrilling fashion brands, celebrities, and the media. While Liberty Media, the owner of F1, may have oversold its demand (potentially due to a drama-free race season), the success of an event that puts the fastest cars in the world on the Vegas Strip may inherently be the most dramatic backdrop for some good ol’-fashioned marketing.

Season’s spending
The Las Vegas Grand Prix may be the biggest event in modern fashion history. Wait, what?

  • Brands such as Tommy Hilfiger, Puma, TAG Heuer, Palace, and Sacai are sponsoring teams and releasing unique capsules for the event, even tapping celebrities to act as creative directors.

  • They’re also hosting huge parties and events, with TAG Heuer, a partner of the Red Bull team, spending over $21,000 on each VIP guest they’re hosting during the weekend.

  • All of that is expensive but apparently worth it: the average F1 fan is 32, decades younger than that of the NBA and NFL — exactly the customer fashion is after.

  • Tommy Hilfiger, which has been deeply involved in F1, says the event will soon be bigger than the Super Bowl and has already seen sales in the US jump because of ties to the sport.

Liberty Media has spent $500 million on the event and expects it to be massive — with 100,000 fans lining up along the famed Vegas strip, performances from J Balvin and, and $1.3 billion in economic impact.

Or, that’s the hope. A Bloomberg report found there’s still a surprising number of tickets on sale (and at a discount), and resorts are quickly lowering their prices to fill free rooms. Why? According to several analysts, initial price inflation from “corporate hospitality.”

So, the Las Vegas Grand Prix may be racing to the clearance rack.

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Courtesy of Galerie

Wes Anderson fights the streaming wars with a curated cinema club

The Future. Renowned filmmaker Wes Anderson and his producing partners at Indian Paintbrush are launching a digital film club called Galerie. While it’s probably not built for mass scale, Galerie has the potential to become the hub for a renewed cultural appreciation for the art of movies… or at least a much cheaper alternative to collegiate film studies majors.

Online repertory
Wes Anderson is out here, in between productions, making the coolest film club around.

  • Galerie will stream live screenings and curated film collections from creatives Mike Mills, Taylor Russell, Karyn Kusama, Ethan Hawke, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Gray, and Ed Lachman.

  • The $10/month service will also offer “original videos, considered writing, live screenings, and discussions with leading filmmakers” alongside the movies to deepen discussion.

  • Anderson himself will have “an exclusive space” to curate ongoing exhibitions — ambiguous what that may be, but we expect it to have exquisite symmetry.

Indian Paintbrush founder Steven Rales said Galerie is meant as a balm to the “media clutter overwhelming all of us.” That perfectly describes the vibe of niche, human-curated streamers like Shudder and The Criterion Channel, the return of premium physical media, and the fight to keep classic film channel TCM alive.

It’s the return of quality over quantity.

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Today’s email was written by David Vendrell.
Edited by Nick Comney. Copy edited by Kait Cunniff.
Published by Darline Salazar.

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