Do deepfakes have the power to rewrite history?

A new deepfake art installation reimagines the story of the moon landings, revealing threats to both democracy and history,


It has been 50 years since man set foot on the moon – a moment of triumph, technology and staggering engineering. But what if things hadn’t gone to plan? At the time of the landing, then US president Richard Nixon had prepared a statement to read in case things went wrong, and astronauts Neil Armstrong or Buzz Aldrin were left stranded on the lunar surface.


Decades later, a new art installation has used the latest deepfake technology to reimagine the story of the moon landing.

The undelivered speech, written by presidential speechwriter William Safire, was stored in the National Archives and finally made public in 1999 during the 30th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.


“In Event of Moon Disaster’’, which opened Friday at the International Documentary Festival (IDFA) in Amsterdam, was produced at the MIT Center for Advanced Virtuality and directed by Francesca Panetta, the centre’s creative director, and Halsey Burgund, an MIT research affiliate.


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