The Evil Magic Mirror is online experimental artwork created by Obvious that aims at raising awareness on the misuses of Deepfakes.
Obvious started from the concept of a magic mirror, which is a mirror in which oneself would find introspective answers, and sometimes foresee the future. The most common image of the Magic mirror is the one from Snow White. Today, due to online behaviour analysis and recommendation algorithms, most people find themselves in front of this type of mirror when using a computer. Comforting and entertaining content, which comforts oneself into believing in his/her convictions, or leads him/her to forgetting his flaws. But what happens when this information is false? We decided to twist this Magic Mirror into an Evil Magic Mirror, in order to shed light on the new possibilities of misinformation, brought by AI deepfake technologies. The idea is to set the viewers in front of our magic mirror, and lead them into an experiment where they will trust, then be deceived, and ultimately learn from the artwork.
Deepfakes are a recurring theme in the dystopian view of AI, and so it is also a recurring theme in the journalistic world. However, current examples are often celebrities or politicians, too obvious to make us feel any danger. In the experience we wish to provide online and offline, we would like to show to the subject that anyone can be the recipient of a deepfake attack, and that it can happen really quickly with a devastating impact.
In this experiment Obvious wishes to raise awareness on misinformation spread by deepfakes. The subjects will be shocked to see themselves talking, and with the additional fear of seeing themselves stating conspiracy theories as facts, we hope to make them realize that misinformation can come even from someone well intentioned.
About the artists: Obvious is a French collective of artists and researchers who use artificial intelligence algorithms to create works of art. Their work was highlighted in 2018 with the sale of one of their paintings “Edmond de Belamy”, the first of its kind, at Christie’s NY. Their works, at the crossroads of classical art and the most recent technologies, are subsequently exhibited in the largest museums in the world. Pioneers of digital art, they are also one of the first French artists to have created NFTs in 2018, and in 2021 they collaborated with the Kamel Mennour gallery on this subject. Through their work and collaborations, Obvious aims to bring the tools developed in research to creatives, in order to initiate the next visual and artistic revolution.