'In the latest example of artificial intelligence at work, algorithms can now ‘undress’ a woman, or put false utterances into a politician’s mouth. What’s at stake is nothing less than our perception of reality.
Young readers of comic books circa 1970s will certainly remember the back-page ad section, where everything from Charles Atlas’ muscle-building program to live sea monkeys was shamelessly hawked to unsuspecting adolescents. The most popular item by far (I’m guessing) was the so-called ‘X-ray specs’ – a pair of horn-rimmed glasses designed on “scientific optical principles” that allowed the credulous wearer to see straight through clothes. How many kids blew their weekly allowance on that ploy is anyone’s guess, but today those same, now-matured consumers have a chance to be fooled once again.
Today, new software dubbed ‘DeepNude’, perhaps the distant country cousin of ‘Deep Throat’, enjoyed 15 minutes of fame for its machine-learning algorithm that magically ‘removes’ clothing. Light years ahead of its clunky comic book predecessor, and sounding no less chauvinistic, the application uses “neural networks” to undress images of women in a mouse click, “making them look realistically nude,” as Motherboard duly reported.
The fun and games, however, came to an abrupt end last week when the creators of DeepNude announced in an apologetic tweet “the world is not yet ready” for such advanced technology, which opens the door to an assortment of wolves, like ‘revenge porn’ attacks, not to mention the troubling objectification of women’s bodies. However, I’m guessing the real reason DeepNude yanked its product has less to do with moral and ethical considerations than the possibility of being hit with a massive lawsuit over privacy claims. But I digress.'
Read more: Deepfake technology shows the emperor (or the girl of your dreams) has no clothes
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