Creep Fake: Stink Studios puts the AI into villainous this Halloween

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This week, Stink Studios launched Creep Fake, an R&D project exploring the creative and technical possibilities of combined gen-AI technologies.

Dropping in time for Halloween, the experience dares users to enter a custom-built mobile site which cages an evil and menacing twin version of themselves.

Creep Fake

Creep Fake is built with a unique, special brew of different Gen-AI technologies. Users can engage in a conversation with their evil twin before “enjoying” an unexpected surprise – courtesy of some creepy, AI magic.

The experiment gives users an exciting and unexpected introduction to emergent AI technologies.

Stink’s experience can be accessed via promos on social media, social sharing and QR code promo stickers that will be placed around London.

Creep Fake will be available indefinitely.

Stink Studios has previously used AI in a number of projects, but this is the first experience it has created using gen-AI.

Cam Temple, ECD at Stink Studios, said: “AI can be scary, especially if you don’t fully understand what it is or how it works.

“With the stratospheric rise of AI technologies in the last year, we wanted to start experimenting what it can do, to learn, iterate and understand it better as a creative resource.

“Halloween is the perfect moment to do this, and Creep Fake came to life as a result of internal R&D.

“We’ve had a lot of fun developing this experiment, but more importantly it’s enabled us to start finding the edges of what some of these AI tools can do, and, ironically, made them less scary.”

How it works

More than a simple wrapper around a single API, Creep Fake combines multiple AI technologies to create a haunting experience with a disturbingly responsive and lifelike version of yourself.

Starting with MidJourney – a generative AI system that produces images from hand crafted text prompts – Stink Studios generated hundreds of horrifying AI portraits. Then hand picked the most terrifying.

Once users take their selfie, Replicate, a cloud-based platform, merges it with one of the created MidJourney images.

It does this by simplifying the process of running machine learning models, allowing the devs to run open-source models with just a few lines of code.

At the end of this short process the user’s personalised Creep Fake is complete.

This all whirrs away behind the scenes as ChatGPT strikes up a conversation with the user.

Stink Studios trained a Creep Fake voice to speak aloud the ChatGPT responses using ElevenLabs’ text-to-voice model, and did post-processing on the audio to create an unsettling, raspy whisper that shifts dynamically in pitch and tone.

They also meticulously crafted the system prompt that gives the AI such a colourful (read: unpleasant, evil) demeanour, one that is tonally perfect for the experience.

The AI will also always end in a question, to keep the user engaged for as long as they like.

None of the material is stored for longer than an hour after the user has finished the experience and personal data is only processed once consent has been given.