The Double Exploitation of Deepfake Porn


Over the past three years, celebrities have been appearing across social media in improbable scenarios. You may have recently caught a grinning Tom Cruise doing magic tricks with a coin or Nicolas Cage appearing as Lois Lane in Man of Steel. Most of us now recognize these clips as deepfakes--startlingly realistic videos created using artificial intelligence. In 2017, they began circulating on message boards like Reddit as altered videos from anonymous users; the term is a portmanteau of "deep learning"--the process used to train an algorithm to doctor a scene--and "fake." Deepfakes once required working knowledge of AI-enabled technology, but today, anyone can make their own using free software like FakeApp or Faceswap. All it takes is some sample footage and a large data set of photos (one reason celebrities are targeted is the easy availability of high-quality facial images) and the app can convincingly swap out one person's face for another's.

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