Tech

Deepfake: this AI-doped porn site is attracting more and more followers and it’s worrying

One of the largest pornographic deepfake sites is growing in popularity day by day. But above all, its influence is spreading, through the creation of similar services through partnerships. And while celebrities are often the most affected by these nude photos edited with artificial intelligence, the general public is starting to be targeted.

Credits: Pixabay

the Deepfake, or hypertrucage in the language of Molière, is a multimedia synthesis technique based on artificial intelligence. Usually, this technology is used to overlay audio and video files over an already existing video file. In this way, you can literally make anyone say anything. And if the cinema quickly seized on this promising technology, like what was done with Luke Skywalker on The Mandalorian, the deepfakes quickly demonstrated their dangerousness.

On the political level in particular, like these faked videos of Barack Obama intentionally insulting Donald Trump. Very quickly, the deepfake established itself as the tool par excellence of disinformation. And to try to counter the phenomenon, social networks like Facebook have equipped themselves with anti-deepfake mechanisms.

Porn, the new El Dorado of deepfake

But there is another area where the deepfake has exploded: pornography. Our colleagues from Wired were interested in the most important deepfake site dedicated to this particular task: generating fake photographs of an erotic or pornographic nature. In order not to inadvertently promote the site, Wired preferred to keep its name silent. We will do the same.

Created last year, this site digitally removes clothing from “non-nude” photos to shaping and spreading hyperrealistic pornographic deepfakes. Of course, the site does without the consent of people hijacked in this way. In recent months, the platform has extended its services, making its algorithms and APIs available to “partners”, allowing the creation of two other similar websites.

For example, the website’s “partner program” page states that it was created so that the developer behind the system can “concentrate more”On AI research, providing alternative payment methods and offering multilingual versions of the first site. According to him, having a decentralized model makes it possible to avoid “a sudden suspension of service, or even a termination ” ordered by the authorities.

Also read: Zao – why is this bluffing deepfake app worried everyone?

emmanuel macron deepfake
Deepfake Emmanuel Macron

The site is forging a community and partners to stay alive

This is how the site has managed to stay online. According to data from the Similarweb platform, the platform received 50 million visitors between January and October 2021, making it the most important site in its class. Its audience even peaked in August with 6.92 million views in one day.

Of course, such frequentation did not go unnoticed and has earned the site several journalistic inquiries from the Huffington Post and other media. These articles led to the end of his hosting and to the suspension of his payment account via the CoinBase cryptocurrency platform. These restrictions have paid off, by halving its attendance in October (only 3.14 million visitors).

And if the site has been affected by these measures, conversely, its commercial partners have developed, helping to keep this abusive technology online. Thus, one of the clone sites recorded 800,000 visitors in October 2021, against only a few thousand in the previous months. And for his part, the creator of the original site is filling his pockets, one of his partners claiming that he pays her around $ 500 to get 10,000 naked images. We are talking about a database comprising millions of diverted images.

An elaborate and rather worrying business plan

Since the launch of this deepfake site a year ago, the creator claims to have updated his algorithm several times. Today on version 2.0, the developer announced the deployment of a third version in early 2022 Who “will improve the prediction of photographs taken from the side or from the back ”. According to him, this will allow users “to manipulate certain attributes of the subject such as the size of the breasts or pubic hair ”.

As Wired points out, the site’s growth tactic is akin to a startup, and proves to what extent the abusive technologies of “nudification” of stolen photos have become commonplace. Especially since they are now very easy to use. In fact, the targets are no longer just celebrities or personalities, but sir and madam everyone. And you will agree, there is cause for concern.

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