Takeaway: Apple is met with mixed emotions after obtaining a patent for the creation of deepfakes, a controversial technology that could have dangerous consequences.

The USPTO has granted Apple a patent for “face image generation with pose and expression control," also known as "deepfakes." Deepfakes are a video of a person in which their face or body has been digitally altered so that they appear to be someone else.

According to the newly issued patent, Apple’s technology creates synthetic images of human faces based on a reference image provided by the user. Once a synthetic face is generated, the user can manipulate that face to create changes in expression. The patent states, "The generated image is a simulated image that appears to depict the subject of the reference image, but it is not actually a real image."

Some believe Apple could be working towards an app that puts a “fun” twist on deepfakes. Others think the patent will never be used, as the patent comes from a desire to squash facial motion capture and related technologies from potential competitors.