AI found mis­used to aid porn

Face-chang­ing tech urged to be strictly con­trolled

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Zhang Han

The fast de­vel­op­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence (AI) tech­nol­ogy has opened an un­der­ground mar­ket for pornog­ra­phy with the face of fe­male celebri­ties, which has in­ten­si­fied con­cerns over pri­vacy.

An un­der­ground mar­ket of fake porn with celebri­ties’ faces has emerged in China with the re­duced costs of AI tech­nol­ogy that can re­place an ac­tor’s face with an­other per­son’s.

The Global Times on Thurs­day found that un­der­ground sell­ers of porn videos with fe­male ac­tresses’ faces used ar­got to at­tract buy­ers at on­line fo­rums and share a cloud drive link of the videos af­ter re­ceiv­ing money through Wechat or Ali­pay.

The price de­pends on the length and qual­ity of the video, and a pack­age of 700 videos is sold for 158 yuan ($23), The Bei­jing News re­ported Thurs­day.

Cus­tomers can also tai­lor their videos on Xianyu, an on­line mar­ket­place of used goods. A ser­vice provider charged 40 yuan per minute of the video and offered to trans­act on Wechat when ap­proached by the Global Times pos­ing as a client.

“The more pho­tos you pro­vide, the more nat­u­ral the video will be. A one-minute video takes a few hours to make,” said the seller based in Bozhou, East China’s An­hui Prov­ince.

The seller also of­fers a bun­dle of face-chang­ing ap­pli­ca­tion “deep­fake” and tu­tor­ing for 400 yuan. The tech­nol­ogy was pre­vi­ously used to splice images of Hol­ly­wood A-lis­ters, such as Won­der Woman ac­tress Gal Gadot and Harry Pot­ter star Emma Wat­son into porno­graphic con­tent.

The fake porn in­dus­try has in­ten­si­fied pub­lic con­cerns over pri­vacy and in­for­ma­tion se­cu­rity, with many say­ing that the tech­nol­ogy could “make porn of peo­ple you hate.”

Qin An, head of the Bei­jing-based In­sti­tute of China Cy­berspace Strat­egy, noted that the de­vel­op­ment of tech­nol­ogy is ahead of leg­is­la­tion and China has no law on AI yet.

“Pro­duc­ers of the un­der­ground porn chain, within the ex­ist­ing le­gal frame­work, would be pun­ished for dis­sem­i­nat­ing porno­graphic ar­ti­cles and vi­o­lat­ing the im­age rights of oth­ers,” Qin said.

Bei­jing-based tech­nol­ogy com­pany MEGVII, which spe­cial­izes in fa­cial recog­ni­tion, is­sued a code of con­duct on Wed­nes­day which said the use of AI must be su­per­vised, trace­able and pru­dent.

AI so­lu­tions should be ver­i­fi­able and trace­able, and all the mis­takes and faults must be ad­dressed once they are spot­ted, the code said.

“AI ser­vice providers shall in­clude a pri­vacy reg­u­la­tion in its terms of ser­vice,” a spokesper­son of MEGVII told the Global Times on Thurs­day.

In­dus­try reg­u­la­tion and a law guar­an­tee the in­dus­try’s healthy and sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, said the spokesper­son.

In July 2017, China is­sued a plan on new gen­er­a­tion AI, which will make it a ma­jor new growth en­gine and im­prove peo­ple’s lives. It also set the goal of China be­com­ing a ma­jor cen­ter and world leader in AI in­no­va­tion by 2030. Chen Qingqing con­tributed to this story

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