Ethical Concerns Arise as AI-Modified Hitler Speeches Go Viral

Ethical Concerns Arise as AI-Modified Hitler Speeches Go Viral

Viral AI-altered Hitler speeches, translated from German to English, garnered over 15 million views. Shared by a far-right influencer, sparking online debate and ethical concerns.

Recently, AI-modified footage of Adolf Hitler’s 1939 Reichstag speech, which marked the start of World War II, has become widely popular. Hitler declared in the speech that the impending conflict would result in the “annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.” Although Hitler did say this, the English translation of the speech can be seen in the video clips. 

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According to X, the videos have been viewed over 15 million times and include text that indicates the speech was an AI audio translation.

About the modified video

First appearing on the well-known video-sharing platform X (formerly Twitter), the video quickly gained popularity, amassing millions of views and igniting contentious user discussions. Some have praised the creators for their technical skill and inventiveness, while others have expressed shock and outrage at the video.

In the modified speech, Hitler is heard speaking to a crowd in German, which has been edited to give the dictator a more robotic and menacing voice. To further add to the video’s overall unsettling effect, his facial features have been altered to appear more exaggerated and cartoonish.

Although several viewers have accepted the video at face value, others have questioned its authenticity and voiced concerns regarding the potential ramifications of using artificial intelligence (AI) to manipulate historical footage. Numerous people have brought attention to the fact that such technology could be used to disseminate false information or distort public perception of historical events.

X users react

Don Lucre cautioned that the videos are “extremely antisemitic” and stated he was “sharing what is news as I always do” in comments accompanying the videos on X. Still, the comments on the videos show that people have formed their conclusions. Lucre uploaded one of the videos to his Instagram account, but the response was lower than it was for his posts on X.

“I’m starting to believe that we might have lost World War II,” a verified X user commented. Another follower commented, “It sounds like these people cared about their country above all else.” Links to the 2017 neo-Nazi movie Europa: The Last Battle were shared by numerous others.

Regarding the AI Hitler videos, conspiracy theorist Owen Benjamin mistakenly stated that the dictator “didn’t want to go to war and was chastising other countries for not helping the [Jews].” There have been over 3.5 million views on Benjamin’s tweet.

The clips seem to have been taken from a video that Time Unveiled, an account that uploaded AI-translated videos of Osama bin Laden, Joseph Stalin, and Hideki Tojo, first uploaded to YouTube two months ago.

It’s undeniable that the video has drawn in a sizable audience despite the controversy surrounding it. The controversy has resulted in a renewed interest in using AI technology to modify historical footage, raising significant ethical concerns.

The first time Lucre gained widespread recognition was in July of last year, when Elon Musk personally intervened to restore his account even though Lucre had posted images of child exploitation just a few days prior, against corporate policy. 

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.