AI-created “deepfake” videos can be shockingly realistic, causing terrifying concern for misuse.
When a video of a foul-mouthed former President Barack Obama (NSFW) went viral last year, it was good for a laugh. The straight-laced favorite leader was finally letting loose and saying the things he wanted to say! Or at least, that’s how the video made it seem. Critics, though, were chilled to the bone by the ramifications of this technology: no video–and therefore, no video evidence–would ever be trustworthy again.
That’s not always a bad thing, as a new report on deep fakes–face swapping an image or video, or changing the background of visual content–from The Verge demonstrates.
The dangers of deepfakes
A new startup called Naughty America is using the technology to serve its customers in a bizarre, unheard of way: they can pay to put their own faces on the bodies of adult film entertainers. Yes, rather than filming a sex tape that a disgruntled ex could unleash online, you can simply send in a few head shots and short clips of yourself making different facial expressions, and the company will insert you into porn films.
The company claims this is not in any way a dangerous concept, as apparently they are unfamiliar with revenge porn and losing your job for embarrassing your employer. Naughty America is marketing the technology as a way for their customers to “live out their fantasy,” but not everyone is convinced it can’t be used for harassment and other nefarious purposes.
Shockingly, the law isn’t on your side
One of the major issues at this point is the lack of legislation to protect someone if their face is used in this way and then shared widely.
It doesn’t fall under invasion of privacy laws since the sex act or hate speech never actually happened, while the person who created and shared the video is protected by the First Amendment. Other than attempting to sue the individual (which can be costly), there’s little recourse until the law catches up with the technology.