Artificial intelligence has been used to created hyper-realistic portrait photographs of men, women, and children of different races who never existed, prompting one author to declare the “end of photography as evidence.”
“None of these faces are real. All made up by AIs. The end of photography as evidence,” declared author and Wired founding executive editor Kevin Kelly in a Twitter post, citing research from Nvidia.
— Kevin Kelly (@kevin2kelly) December 14, 2018
“These realistic faces are the work of researchers from Nvidia. In their paper, shared publicly last week, they describe modifying the basic GAN architecture to create these images,” reported the Verge on the same images. “Take a look at the pictures below. If you didn’t know they were fake, could you tell the difference?”
“What’s particularly interesting is that these fake faces can also be easily customized. Nvidia’s engineers incorporated a method known as style transfer into their work, in which the characteristics of one image are blended with another,” the Verge explained. “Applying style transfer to face generation allowed Nvidia’s researchers to customize faces to an impressive degree.”
Similar technology has previously been used to create “deepfake” pornography, with celebrity heads and faces mapped realistically onto the bodies of porn stars.
Emma Watson, Gal Gadot, Scarlett Johansson, Maisie Williams, and Aubrey Plaza have all been affected by such technology, prompting PornHub to crackdown on the videos and implement a ban on the “nonconsensual content.”
Facebook has also showcased the work of their A.I. research department, who are able to map different skins onto people’s bodies in real-time video.
The technology allows you to make everyone in a video wear the same clothes, or have the same skin color.
“It’s not hard to imagine this technology’s being used to smear politicians, create counterfeit revenge porn or frame people for crimes,” raised one article published by the New York Times. “Lawmakers have already begun to worry about how deepfakes could be used for political sabotage and propaganda.”