A new deepfake places Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Tesla CEO Elon Musk in the pilot episode of the original Star Trek, “The Cage” – and I like it a bit. In this specific AI-driven face swap, Bezos plays a Talosian alien with a huge bald head, while Musk plays Captain Christopher Pike (who is the captain of the USS Enterprise before James T. Kirk).
Here’s a very short version of what’s going on in this scene, if you wonder: in this episode, the Talosian aliens catch Pike to enslave him and use him to breed people who will be used to Rebuild destroyed society. Pike tries to escape during the episode, and eventually the Talosians decide that people’s resistance to captivity does not make them fit for that plan.
The conversation is a bit difficult to follow, and that’s probably because the episodes’ clips have been sewn together to make it seem like only the Talosian alien and Captain Pike are having a conversation. In the actual episode there are a number of other characters that are crucial to the conversation that this deepfake does not show.
But although the scene is confusing, I find the deepfake scary impressive, especially the troubling-looking Bezos as a Talosian alien. It “marks” the second Star Trek cameo for the CEO of Amazon: he appeared in 2016 Star Trek Beyond, also as an alien with a big head.