Update 2: Also, we have noticed that people are reaching out to search engines to find the download links of the supposed app. However, all of these links seem to be fake or malicious as the actual DeepNude app has been taken down.
Update 1: The website of the DeepNude app has gone offline as it started to invite more and more criticism from different parts of the globe. Yesterday, when this story was published the website displayed information on how the DeepNude app works and cited excess traffic as the reason behind the unavailability. Now, the site displays a white screen with a ‘Not Found’ message.
Every day there is a new stage where we get to see the capabilities of the always-developing AI technologies. Today’s machine learning algorithms can identify faces in a mob of thousands, create animations of people who never existed, and create fake videos of president Obama.
But it seems the advancement is happening at a rate faster than we think and in directions we never imagined. The latest AI party trick is a rather chilling and horrifying new app called DeepNude. It can be used to create nude images of women with a single click. In some case, these fake images are surprisingly real.
First reported by Vice, the app was created around 3 months ago by an unnamed developer who calls himself a “technology enthusiast.”
His inspiration behind the app are the ads for X-Ray glasses in the 1960s magazines he saw during his childhood. Even the logo of the app shows a guy wearing sunglasses.
To create the DeepNude app, the anonymous creator used the Pix2Pix network architecture – which converts B/W images into colored ones – as the base. He then trained his neural network using a set of 10,000 images of undressed women.
The DeepNude app works offline on Windows and Linux after downloading all the necessary files. Its website was down at the time of writing and Fossbytes hasn’t been able to test the results of the app.
Still, as noted by Vice and The Next Web, DeepNude app gives results with varying degrees of success. Vice tested the tool on the images of different people including popular celebrities. It can give better results for images of women in which more skin is visible.
The app can be used for free, but the output image has a watermark which can be removed after shelling out $50 for the paid version. Still, the free and paid output images contain a “fake” label on the face, which again can removed easily using tools like Adobe Photoshop.
Adding to the horror, the DeepNude app only works for women. It works that way because images of undressed women are easy to find on the internet, according to the creator.
Feeding the image of a clothed man would yield unexpected results as the algorithm would replace his pants with a woman’s private parts.
Surprisingly, the developer has plans to create a male version of the app as well.
The developer doesn’t consider himself evil-minded. He said he kept working on the app out of curiosity and fun. “I’m not a voyeur, I’m a technology enthusiast,” he told Vice.
“Continuing to improve the algorithm. Recently, also due to previous failures (other startups) and economic problems, I asked myself if I could have an economic return from this algorithm. That’s why I created DeepNude.”
But his actions aren’t justified, enough to raise concerns. We have already seen how technology can be used to destroy people’s lives on public platforms.
Photoshoped fake images are already a pain for years. More recently, deepfakes can be used to create fake celebrity porn videos and for revenge porn.
His app only makes it easier for people to transform a photo of any female even if they haven’t ever clicked a photo without clothes. In that scenario, even if the image is fake, the person seeing it on the internet would still believe it’s true.
In his defense, the creator says what his app can do can also be done using Photoshop after a few hours of tutorials.
“So if someone has bad intentions, having DeepNude doesn’t change much… If I don’t do it, someone else will do it in a year,” he added.
Still, the hard truth is his app makes the process a lot easier for people who don’t know a thing about Photoshop.
The sad part is that the regulations and policies are not being implemented at a faster rate to prevent the harm that technologies like DeepFakes and DeepNude are possibly doing.
These fake videos and photos can be easily used to shame people on social media. Recently, an artist made a deepfake video of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg joking that he knows people’s secrets.
Another deepfake video featured Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and made her sound like she was drunk. The video spread like wildfire before being flagged false by Facebook.
Since then, Zuckerberg has said that the company is working to figure out some policies and rules to contain deepfakes.