The 'South Park' guys have mastered deepfake technology and used it to parody Trump
via Sassy Justice / YouTube

Today's world has been upended by an avalanche of fake news and conspiracy theories that threaten the very fabric of our society. Disinformation spread through social media is causing people to doubt the validity of the U.S. election, feel hesitant about taking the COVID-19 vaccine, and fall victim to ridiculous Q Anon theories.

A new type of technology is emerging that's going to make it even more difficult for unsavvy people to tell fact from fiction: deepfakes.

Deepfakes use a form of artificial intelligence called deep learning to create events that have never happened and put words in people's mouths.


This video of Bill Hader turning into Tom Cruise during an impersonation is an incredibly eerie, but effective use of deep fake.

But where there's fear there's often humor, as the creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, know all too well. The pair have teamed up with actor Peter Serafinowicz to create a web series called "Sassy Justice" that illustrates the power that deepfakes have to make us laugh.

Serafinowicz is best known as the voice of Darth Maul in "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace "(1999), Pete in "Shaun of the Dead" (2004), and Garthan Saal in "Guardians of the Galaxy" (2014).

The actor has found viral fame over the last few years doing the Sassy Trump parody videos.

The Sassy Trump videos reminded a lot of the late, great character actor and comedian Paul Lynde who was a star on "Bewitched" and stole the show on "Hollywood Squares."


Paul Lynde & Hollywood Squares: BEST-1-LINERS Part 1 www.youtube.com


The series debuted as a fourteen-minute episode following the exploits of Fred Sassy of Cheyenne, Wyoming a reporter who investigates the news, including the dangers posed by deepfake technology. Sassy is a deepfake version of Donald Trump.

The series is based on Serafinowicz's Sassy Trump impersonation and also features the voices of Parker and Stone.

Here's the first episode where Sassy speaks with Michael Cane (perfectly voiced by Serafinowicz), Al Gore, and Mark Zuckerberg.


Sassy Justice with Fred Sassy (Full Episode) | From Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Peter Serafinowicz www.youtube.com


On December 11, the team was back with a new video featuring Sassy giving an "Official White House Address," that mocks Trump's inability to concede his loss to Joe Biden.


Cheyenne 9's Coverage of the Official White House Address | Sassy Justice www.youtube.com

The series was created by the newly-formed Deep Voodoo studio which was working on a film project that was interrupted by COVID-19. So instead the team focused its efforts on a new project," Sassy Justice." Its creators are unsure of the future of "Sassy Justice" but it may become an ongoing series or film.

One can only imagine what horrible things that deepfake technology will be able to do when it winds up in the wrongs hands. The good news is that Parker, Stone, and Serafinowicz have shown that when it's in the right hands, it can be pretty damn funny.



Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
True

Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

Keep Reading Show less
True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.