deepfakes/Reddit

Is this ‘face-swaping’ a gateway to revenge porn?

If you’re a Reddit user who has a knack for adult content, chances are you’ve stumbled across r/CelebFakes. The subreddit is dedicated to fake celebrity porn, with users superimposing stars’ faces onto adult models’ bodies. But one Redditor has created a particularly advanced way to do just that, and he’s scaring the tech world with his AI-driven fake porn featuring Wonder Woman lead Gal Gadot.

The discovery, which was first reported on by Vice’s Motherboard, is particularly shocking because its creator isn’t an expert in machine learning or AI-assisted photo and video manipulations. Going by the Reddit username deepfakes, he told Motherboard that he’s simply a programmer working from home on his ventures.

“I just found a clever way to do face-swap,” he explained. “With hundreds of face images, I can easily generate millions of distorted images to train the network. After that, if I feed the network someone else’s face, the network will think it’s just another distorted image and try to make it look like the training face.”

Gal Gadot's face digitally transferred to porn star deepfakes/Reddit

Motherboard particularly focused on deepfakes’ latest creation, which features Gadot in an incest-themed porn video. While Gadot’s face appears slightly stilted and awkward, and there’s an occasional glitch here or there from the AI’s work, it’s still a believable edit nonetheless. And the quality is good enough for the subreddit’s users. The video’s original post has over 660 upvotes.

Gadot isn’t the only celebrity that’s received deepfakes’ AI-infused porn manipulations, either. There’s also edits featuring Emma Watson, Scarlett Johansson, and Aubrey Plaza. And each is ridiculously popular in its own right on the subreddit, with many hailing deepfakes as a porn pioneer.

Deepfakes is trying to hoard the limelight, however, and hopes other hobbyists begin studying deep learning, despite some of the technology’s ramifications being problematic.

“Every technology can be used with bad motivations, and it’s impossible to stop that,” he told Motherboard. “The main difference is how easy [it is] to do that by everyone. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for more average people [to] engage in machine learning research.”

Gal Gadot's face digitally transferred to porn star deepfakes/Reddit

Of course, AI-created porn has huge ramifications for women everywhere. Despite the fact that it’s illegal to recycle copyrighted images and movie stills without permission, deepfakes proves it’s easier than ever to rip a woman’s likeness and paste it onto sexualized bodies without consent. In short, this is objectification to its logical extreme.

There’s also the fact that more advanced deep learning AI may be able to create fake sex tapes and conspiracy clips that appear extremely realistic, confusing the public. Even a still from a fake porn video (especially one created by a more advanced, fine-tuned machine learning system) could fuel harassment against both celebrities and everyday women.

In many ways, deepfakes is opening the door to a new kind of revenge porn: fake porn. As research on AI learning continues to advance, let’s hope the public continues asking ethical questions about handling machine learning’s development.

In the meantime, read Motherboard’s full overview here.

H/T Motherboard

Ana Valens

Ana Valens

Ana Valens is an LGBTQ reporter and essayist for the Daily Dot. Her work has previously appeared in Bitch, the Establishment, Vice's Waypoint, Rolling Stone's Glixel, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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