“The REALFAKE app is the best investment I ever made,” said John P. Wezerack. He was sitting on his couch, plunging his fist into a bowl of popcorn.
“Those dumbasses from high school? All those stuck-up chicks? Obnoxious jock bros? They never paid me any mind. Now they’re posting all over my social media, asking, ‘You coming to the reunion? You coming? You gotta be there, bro!’ Suckers. All thanks to REALFAKE.”
REALFAKE is a new time-saving app. For a monthly fee, it will automatically post to a user’s social media feeds. Using the latest deep fake techniques, the app posts images and videos of the user in various exciting and/or romantic activities. The app also utilizes an artificial intelligence engine to post text-only status updates. All this creates the illusion the user is living an amazing life.
In Mr. Wezerack’s case, the app auto-replied to the pleas for him to attend his high school reunion. “Sorry, I can’t make it,” the app posted. “Got a special weekend planned for the lady and I. True love can’t wait.”
“True love can’t wait,” Wezerack laughed, spraying popcorn bits. “Who would believe that but fools on social media? True love has been waiting for me forever.”
The replies from his former classmates indicated they had no idea the posts were made by the REALFAKE app.
“Aww, that’s so sweet. Do you have a brother? Then three hearts-over-the-eyes emojis. From Penny Jackson,” Wezerack said. “Penny friggen’ Jackson. She’s Penny Leibowitz or something now. And divorced. In high school, she wouldn’t even talk to me. Now? She’s all about it.”
“And look at this one. From Chase H. Thompson. Once the big man on campus, now a drunk loser. He looks at these REALFAKE posts of me working out and writes, ‘Bro, you buff, man. What’s your workout routine?’ I’ve been tempted to override the app and tell him to screw off. But that’s too much work.”
Wezerack showed a sample of a REALFAKE photo on his mobile phone.
“Look at this. The app put my face on this fit dude’s body, next to this hot girl. Supposedly my girlfriend. On a hiking trip. I’ve never gone hiking my whole life. Or had a girlfriend.”
Senior Software Engineer Jennie Tallenford, designer of REALFAKE, explained how the app works.
“Users upload a photo of their face, then choose from several personas. The app does the rest. There’s the ‘In love and must tell everyone’ persona. The ‘I have kids and everything they do is amazing’ persona. The ‘Single and loving it,’ the ‘Simple pleasures and religious quotes,’ the ‘World traveler who isn’t lonely.’ We’re adding more personas all the time. The future is automation. And people want to be fake. Fine then, let’s automate it.”
While flooded with venture capital funding, the REALFAKE app hasn’t been all success. In the early stages of its rollout, the app used the same stock photo for several thousand users. The result? It appeared that several thousand people went on the same hiking trip with the same partner.
“Very few people noticed,” Tallenford said. “The biggest complaint we got was from the stock footage models. Their spouses were upset because their partners appeared to be supernaturally promiscuous. We have since fixed that bug. The chances of duplicate photos are now so rare as to be nearly impossible.”
As for Wezerack, he intends to keep using the app. “As long as it makes other people feel inadequate, then my social media is doing its job.”