Queen Elizabeth II impersonated in deepfake Christmas message

Occurred: December 2022

A deepfake version of the late Queen Elizabeth II's traditional Christmas message aired by UK television broadcaster Channel 4 came under fire from commentators and viewers who questioned its appropriateness and ethics.

The Queen 'revealed' her thoughts about Princes Harry and Andrew, poked fun at then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, joked about the lack of toilet paper facing people during the COVID-19 pandemic, and danced for a TikTok video. 

She ended by advising people to be wary of what they view online and on television.

Channel 4 had said in advance that the broadcast would provide a 'stark warning' about the dangers of misinformation and disinformation in the age of AI. But this failed to convince many viewers, who complained that it was 'disrespectful, 'distasteful', and 'creepy'.

System 🤖

Operator: Channel 4
Developer: Channel 4; Framestore
Country: UK
Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts
Purpose: Entertain
Technology: Deepfake - video; Generative adversarial network (GAN); Neural network; Deep learning; Machine learning
Issue: Appropriateness/need; Ethics

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: June 2023