Bangkok, Thailand – In a move to raise awareness about long-lost persons in Thailand, non-profit organization The Mirror Foundation has collaborated with creative agency BBDO Bangkok in creating its latest campaign of showing ‘missing persons’ through deepfake technology.

Deepfake technology is generally looked to as synthetic media wherein someone’s face in a video is replaced with that of somebody else’s. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, a video is manipulated to make it look like the person really appears to be who he or she is. .

The campaign, titled ‘The Missing Person Reporters’ shows the utilization of the persona of famous Thai personalities such as news reporter Tha Pipoauh where faces of the current missing person are edited to their bodies, and to make it show as if the missing person has now come alive. This then makes it possible to create a more alarming call for help, where the missing person is now able to announce himself that he is missing.

Despite the unusual approach of the campaign, The Mirror Foundation hopes that through it, viewers become more willing to help out in reported missing person cases, and be encouraged to be watchful of any possible help that can be given. 

“The Missing Person Reporters project creates a massive impact and impression on the public, beyond any ordinary missing-person report could. It ensures whoever’s watching remembers the missing persons’ faces and looks out for them in public, helping with the search to bring them home,” BBDO Bangkok said in a press statement.

For BBDO Bangkok, it is high time that ‘deepfakes’, known recently to be used in a negative light such as pornography, fake news, and hoaxes, be now used for the good: in this case raising awareness of missing persons.

Founded in 1991, The Mirror Foundation primarily operates for the benefit of hill tribes in Thailand such as promoting human rights, awareness on drug abuse, erosion of culture, and the trafficking of women and children.

The deepfake technology used was created in collaboration with Kunana, who shared that they are now able to perform the animated face swap with only one image of the missing person. As a result, this is the first time that missing person can call out for help by themselves on live TV and social media channels.

“Like many technologies, Deepfake has the potential to be utilized for both good and bad things. This project represents one of many possibilities to use advanced technology for a good cause and we are so glad that we could play a part in bringing this important cause to the forefront in a helpful and innovative way,” said Anuwat Nitipanont, CCO of BBDO Bangkok.