Man Uses Machine Learning to Fake Celebrity Sex Tapes, Fulfilling the Promise of the Information Age

Science fiction has been promising us exciting new technologies for hundreds of years. For the most part, these predictions were wildly off-base. We don’t have a flying car in every hover-garage or six newspapers delivered a day via pneumatic tubes. All we’ve gotten is a bubble on fake internet Monopoly money and on-demand access to more porn than you could possibly masturbate to in one lifetime. Basically, we met and exceeded our wildest dreams.

The latest breakthrough in porn technology was brought to us by an anonymous Redditor going by the handle deepfakes. He used machine-learning algorithms to create an AI that replaces porn stars’ faces with celebrities to make fake celebrity sex tapes. All I have to say is that the Nobel Prize ceremony was last Sunday and my man was clearly robbed. Sure, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons does good work, but did they make convincing fake video of Aubrey Plaza fucking a robot? (Link NSFW, obviously) No? Okay, well, we have a winner, then.

Vice vertical Motherboard caught wind of the AI-generated porn and decided it was a terrifying violation of privacy because they have apparently never heard of Facebook. People are only just learning exactly what the massive trails of data they generate on the internet are actually being used for by giant companies, as evidenced by the reaction to this tweet from Netflix:

Vice’s hysteria (they essentially equated fake celebrity porn with rape) isn’t entirely unfounded, but it is surprising it hadn’t occurred to them that it was going to happen when Rogue One came out. They even mention the film in their article, the implication being we can’t trust normal, everyday people with technology, it needs to be in the hands of multinational conglomerates who are consolidating their hold on their respective industries, those are the people you can trust.

Sixty years ago computers used punch cards and vacuum tubes and took an entire room for a machine with roughly the processing power of a pocket calculator, and now we have phones that would have been considered cutting-edge supercomputers two decades ago. Who didn’t think that the sort of CGI used in motion pictures would be available to consumers sooner rather than later?

“I just found a clever way to do face-swap,” he said, referring to his algorithm. “With hundreds of face images, I can easily generate millions of distorted images to train the network,” he said. “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.”

Basically, he taught the computer what a face should look like, and then the computer changed a different face to match the one it was taught. Fairly simple process, right? And yeah, of course we’re going to use this for porn. The desire to have a better wank is basically the primary driver of all of mankind’s greatest accomplishments. Do you really think we’d have made it to the moon without man’s desire to have an orgasm in Zero G?

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