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WeeklyTech #3 – DeepNudes and pornography

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How deepnudes reveal the pornifcation of technology

What if there was some type of technology that would allow you to undress any person you desired? Snap a picture, and then see them naked. For four days in June, there was an app for that. DeepNude, created by a developer from Estonia, sought to digitally “undress” images of women using a form of artificial intelligence (AI) to recreate the body without clothes, similar to the concept used to create deepfake videos. While the app did not show the actual nude body of the victim, it created a fake image—compiled from a data set of pornographic images culled from the internet—that gave the allure of an actual naked body. 

Thankfully, DeepNude was taken down by its developer soon after its release amidst uproar over this controversial use of AI. While this particular developer’s conscience was pricked by the evil that could be done with his app, deepnudes are another insidious form of the pornification of technology that we be prepared to deal with in our families and churches.

Fading are the days of Playboy magazine on the aisles of gas stations, centerfolds hidden in home closets, and even the videos in the private browser tab on your phone. We live in a world where the scandulous often fails to scandalize, and there is a pursuit of richer and more interactive pornography. The images and videos of men and women are leaving magazine pages and moving into our headsets, screens, and homes. 

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About the author

Jason Thacker
Jason Thacker

Jason serves as Associate Research Fellow and Creative Director at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He is the author of The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity with Zondervan (March 2020). He is married to Dorie and they have two sons.

About

Jason Thacker

Jason serves as Associate Research Fellow and Creative Director at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He is the author of The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity with Zondervan (March 2020). He is married to Dorie and they have two sons.

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