(Headline USA) Artificial intelligence imaging can be used to create art, try on clothes in virtual fitting rooms or help design advertising campaigns.
But experts fear the darker side of the easily accessible tools could worsen nonconsensual deepfake pornography.
Deepfakes are videos and images that have been digitally created or altered with artificial intelligence or machine learning. Porn created using the technology first began spreading across the internet several years ago when a Reddit user shared clips that placed the faces of female celebrities on the shoulders of porn actors.
Since then, deepfake creators have disseminated similar videos and images targeting online influencers, journalists and others with a public profile. Thousands of videos exist across a plethora of websites. And some have been offering users the opportunity to create their own images — essentially allowing anyone to turn whoever they wish into sexual fantasies without their consent, or use the technology to harm former partners.
The problem, experts say, grew as it became easier to make sophisticated and visually compelling deepfakes. And they say it could get worse with the development of generative AI tools that are trained on billions of images from the internet and spit out novel content using existing data.
In the meantime, some AI models say they’re already curbing access to explicit images.
Those changes came following reports that some users were creating celebrity inspired nude pictures using the technology.
Some social media companies have also been tightening up their rules to better protect their platforms against harmful materials.
TikTok said last month all deepfakes or manipulated content that show realistic scenes must be labeled to indicate they’re fake or altered in some way, and that deepfakes of private figures and young people are no longer allowed. Previously, the company had barred sexually explicit content and deepfakes that mislead viewers about real-world events and cause harm.
The gaming platform Twitch also recently updated its policies around explicit deepfake images after a popular streamer named Atrioc was discovered to have a deepfake porn website open on his browser during a livestream in late January. The site featured phony images of fellow Twitch streamers.
Twitch already prohibited explicit deepfakes, but now showing a glimpse of such content — even if it’s intended to express outrage — “will be removed and will result in an enforcement,” the company wrote in a blog post. And intentionally promoting, creating or sharing the material is grounds for an instant ban.
Other companies have also tried to ban deepfakes from their platforms, but keeping them off requires diligence.
Apple and Google said recently they removed an app from their app stores that was running sexually suggestive deepfake videos of actresses to market the product. Research into deepfake porn is not prevalent, but one report released in 2019 by the AI firm DeepTrace Labs found it was almost entirely weaponized against women and the most targeted individuals were western actresses, followed by South Korean K-pop singers.
The same app removed by Google and Apple had run ads on Meta’s platform, which includes Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. Meta spokesperson Dani Lever said in a statement the company’s policy restricts both AI-generated and non-AI adult content and it has restricted the app’s page from advertising on its platforms
Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press