This AI makes Robert De Niro perform lines in flawless German

This AI makes Robert De Niro perform lines in flawless German

Enlarge (credit: Paul Bednyakov | Getty Images)

You talkin’ to me… in German?

New deepfake technology allows Robert De Niro to deliver his famous line from Taxi Driverin flawless German—with realistic lip movements and facial expressions. The AI software manipulates an actor’s lips and facial expressions to make them convincingly match the speech of someone speaking the same lines in a different language. The artificial-intelligence-based tech could reshape the movie industry, in both alluring and troubling ways.

The technology is related to deepfaking, which uses AI to paste one person’s face onto someone else. It promises to allow directors to effectively reshoot movies in different languages, making foreign versions less jarring for audiences and more faithful to the original. But the power to automatically alter an actor’s face so easily might also prove controversial if not used carefully.