Digital Face Manipulation, Transient Global Amnesia & IGP's Transmission Video': Facts Vs Fiction

By Uchechukwu Ugboaja - Abuja

What if it was not real ? I mean the IGP 'Transmission' video that has recently set the social media ablaze. Everyone I met in the last 48 hours have had one or two reactions about it indicating how powerful visual impressions resonate in the mind of the viewers.

The Police authorities incidentally haven't denied that the said event where the IGP of Police Ibrahim Kpotum Idris tried to give a speech at the commissioning of a multi-million naira technical intelligence unit at Kano state police command never took place but was alleged to have released a similar video which showed the IGP speaking without looking at his script foe most of the time.

This was however, totally different from the first video released by Voice of Liberty in which the IGP was seen stuttering and struggling to pronounce the words from his written address. This video have elicited shades of opinions resulting to heated debate amongst Nigerians on social media, especially amongst media analysts who have wondered why the Nigeria Police delayed in providing the correct video since they claimed that the it was a doctored video.

Could it be that the video of the IGP was altered to emulate his facial and mouth movements that never existed in the original video? Science have shown that Face2Face manipulation can take place using RGB input from one video and mapped pixels from a second video to achieve a certain objective. Manipulating someone’s face, including distinct facial and mouth movements have become incredibly easy in this era of science and technology.

In view of the aforesaid, there are several questions asked by analysts who have painstakingly studied both clips on the IGP to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the video in contention.

Analysts claim that there was not a single 'repetitive air movement' of the canopy behind the IGP during the speech, rather, the air movement was 'randomly consistent' throughout the entire length of the video.

At the left hand side of the video, (the right side from the IGP's standing point), there was a head that crossed over another person's head, that action only occurred once throughout the entire length of the video. The action never repeated itself.

Thirdly, on the right side of the video where the IG's aides were standing, the 'tie' of the aide was constant, and moved only ones when it flipped to the left hand side. That tie was never seen straight again after it flipped, meaning that no part of the video was repeated in the first video.

Still on the right hand side of the video, If you look closely, you will notice a movement as though someone climbed a staircase in between the two aides from far behind. That movement was never repeated.

As at when one of the aide came up to assist his boss, the movement of the wind on the IGP's microphone was realistically consistent with the voice with no form of cut and join as claimed by the police, but then, why did the second transmission video which appear to have passed off as the authentic one have a total of 4 cut-outs to reduce its length for minimal damage.

A team of researchers in the US have recently released a video showing what this looks like in real-time, but while the method is still imperfect, it has major implications for future online content in the world including Nigeria.

The goal of the developers of this technology is to animate the facial expressions of the target video by a source actor and re-render the manipulated output video in a photo-realistic fashion, real-time facial mapping from one camera directly onto the source video, with little or no visual distortion. In fact even the interior of the mouth is seamlessly recreated, allowing for accurate real-time lip motion.

A neurologist from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) have also added his voice to theories and debates on the transmission video where he claimed that the IGP may have suffered a momentary brain block.

The neaurologist explain what happened to the Inspector General of Police as he couldn’t read his speech in a video that has gone viral.

He explained that, "having watched the IGP Idris speech video, I can only conclude that he had a brain block. What caused it I cannot tell, since I lack his medical history. But I suspect one of three possibilities: Severe emotional stress, a non-motor seizure, or transient global amnesia.

“He is certainly not dyslexic, after all, he has read public speeches flawlessly in the past. And from available evidence, the video was not doctored. I advise the IGP to see an experienced neurologist or psychiatrist, who should also watch the video.”

Dr. Nura Alkali also added that, “Some of us find it hard to believe that a medical condition can make a speech sound like a “broken record”. Well, one of such causes is transient global amnesia (TGA)

“The main sign of TGA is being temporarily unable to form new memories, this is called prominent anterograde amnesia.

During the episode of TGA, the person will seem disoriented in time and often ask questions about the date or their environment over and over again.”