back to article FYI: There's now an AI app that generates convincing fake smut vids using celebs' faces

The faces of celebrities, politicians, children, or pretty much anyone, can be pasted over faces of porn stars in X-rated movies using freely available machine-learning software. The resulting flicks look convincing, and effectively allow miscreants to place people – from the rich and famous to the powerful to ex-partners – …

  1. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    WTF?

    Too much Daily Mail for my liking

    The tech was bound to come eventually. There will come a time when video evidence will become useless (remember the doctored video of Arnie in "The running man")

    We can all extrapolate the consequences without you having to mention child porn... twice!

    While we're at it, the internet can be used to distribute child porn!

    Cameras can take pictures of kiddies!

    That recent article on 512GB flash? It forgot to mention how much child porn that would allow someone to store!

    And the Meltdown/Spectre bugs? They could allow people to hack family kiddie photos!

    (Writing this as someone personally responsible for the discovery, busting and jailing of a child porn pervert)

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

      Mate, you're the one obsessing about it. Chill, or maybe seek help?

      C.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        > Mate, you're the one obsessing about it. Chill, or maybe seek help?

        He's right though: the article puts a bit too much emphasis on the negatives, whereas from the description it sounds like a fascinating bit of technology¹, regardless of how tastefully or otherwise one chooses to promote it.

        ¹ Commodification thereof, strictly speaking.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

          (remember the doctored video of Arnie in "The running man")

          That film with Sean connery and Wesley Snipes in Japan was all about this tech. it was set 20 years ago.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        Mate, you're the one obsessing about it. Chill, or maybe seek help?

        An article about tech, on a tech site tangents off into child pornography *twice* and I'm obsessed for calling you out?

        What help do you suggest I seek?

        A very strange comment - I can only assume there is psychological projection going on.

        Cheers

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        The original poster is right, the article is a bit OTT.

        ( also I can't see how that would even work, it would just give an adult a kids face )

    2. Rattus Rattus

      Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

      Yep, as soon as someone starts on the "think of the kiddies!" drivel these days I automatically take the whole text only half as seriously, and usually start looking for the hidden motive.

    3. Lysenko Silver badge

      Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

      Agreed. The technology necessary to create "child porn" was invented sometime before 40,000 BC (cave painting in Australia). Leaping off into a moral panic every time an implementation detail of the picture creation process changes is ridiculous.

      In related (not yet) news, it is highly likely that Humphrey Bogart will star in new movies and we may well see Sean Connery as James Bond again. The CGI isn't quite there yet, but Peter Cushing's flawed but promising foray beyond the grave proves that it's only a question of time. Once you can do that, you can cast anyone you want at any age you want in any movie you want - which is no different in principle to a cartoon artist with preternatural photorealism skills and (in terms of sound-track) any number of talented voice impersonators.

    4. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

      "(Writing this as someone personally responsible for the discovery, busting and jailing of a child porn pervert)"

      Wait, so you're somehow in a position to discover CP, then confront the suspect, and then jail them? So you're an investigator, a cop AND a judge?

      Or just trying too fucking hard?

      My experiences with CP (or accusations thereoff) are that you need to get you own bloody lawyer as soon as you've come anywhere near it.

      Client dropped laptop in for data recovery. I ran data recovery, checked some of the files to ensure they've come through OK, and found some highly disturbing images.

      Because I'm not Judge Dredd, I then called my boss. Who started making excuses for the client, so I told him that I was stepping out to find myself a lawyer, he should do the same and the client should too. I then called the cops.

      What follows is not a lot of fun, as anyone who actually dealt with the filth. As part of the interview I was informed that while I was guilty of both possession of and distribution of CP* (and had admitted to it) that the CPS was *probably* not going to prosecute me. But that I should expect that I might be treated as a suspect, and to expect all the usual crap that goes with it, and to not delete or dispose of anything that could contain data, leave the country etc.

      I had pretty much every device in the office confiscated, even if it had not been involved with data recovery. They even took the printer. I got almost all of it back within 6 months, with a fair bit of nagging from my brief.

      The cops/CPS also told me very little as regards the case, other than they didn't me to testify as I'd already given my statement. Oh, and that there had been many more dodgy images, since I'd only seen a couple and obviously stopped there. So no idea if the client got jail time, or being able to internet boast about "jailing a perv".

      The other, much less pleasant, experience was in a friends acrimonious divorce case. After a number of shitty tactics having failed to work, her ex accused her brother of being a kiddy fiddler. The evidence being that the kid said so, once, with no other witnesses. The ex's parents where a QC and a judge, so the cops had to follow the rules, so the brother got arrested (at work) and had all his electronics seized.

      No evidence found, kid wouldn't say anything bad about her uncle to either of the shrinks, CYFS and shrinks interviewed both parents and nothing found. Brother is released, manages to keep his job, life goes on.

      Three months later, the ex repeats the allegations. Rinse, lather repeat, expect the brother doesn't keep his job and there's a lot less electronics to seize as he hasn't got his phone and computer back yet. Again, no evidence, no testimony to anyone independent.

      Four months later, brother has managed to get another job. Then he gets arrested again, at work, and one of the cops makes it clear to his workmates what he's being arrested for being "a pervert kiddy fucker".

      Guy gets bailed, gets a lift home from his sister and hangs himself later that night.

      I want to see scum locked for the horrible things they do, but it's never as simple as people would like to portray it.

      If you discover CP (or a brick of coke, bag of money, warm firearm etc) then don't assume that "I'm a good guy" is going to get you anywhere. Call the cops and get a lawyer, the sharp edge of the law not only doesn't care if you're guilty, it will actively assume you are.

      * Laptop was in my possession at the time, data recovery involved taking the drive out and cloning it onto my PC, hence I'd copied the data, which can count as distribution

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        Why would anybody downvote that? What is wrong with people.

        1. Lysenko Silver badge

          Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

          Dedicated readers of the Daily Blackshirt or its "special educational needs" version, the Daily Sexpress tend to dislike being used as a shorthand caricature of unthinking, knee-jerk, reactionary populism.

          They shouldn't be so sensitive. The article made no reference to the effect on house prices or asylum seekers, so it was materially different to anything emanating from the bowels mind of Paul Dacre KBE.

          1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

            Stop obsessing over what newspapers other people read and concentrate on all the shit written in the Grauniad.

            Why do you Grauniad readers feel the need to change words in pathetic ways, like Daily Blackshirt, Brexshit, etc?

            You even have your own way of writing. It must be part of the mental defect of being a leftist.

            I'm slightly surprised you didn't finish your comment with.....

            1. Lysenko Silver badge

              Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

              Stop obsessing over what newspapers other people read and concentrate on all the shit written in the Grauniad.

              Since I don't read the Grauniad (and never have) I can't comment on its contents. I suspect it is full of intensely politically correct, Islington, Champagne Socialist drivel, but it is too ineffectual to register on my consciousness so, that's just an assumption.

              You are making the mistake of assuming that anyone who rejects the xenophobic, nationalistic drivel of certain proto-fascist 'newspapers' is necessarily a 'left winger'. Quite the reverse. It was the Tories who took us into the EU (in the teeth of Lefty opposition), Thatcher at her most combative never seriously contemplated withdrawal, and the strongest 'remain' voices are people like Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine, not the reanimated corpse of Michael Foot leading the Labour Party.

              Nationalistic tub-thumping tropes about "British jobs/NHS/schools for British workers!!" are solidly left wing in origin, making Brexiteers/Kippers the ideological successors of the 1970's TUC (and I've never voted Labour or joined a Trade Union).

            2. Tom 38 Silver badge
              WTF?

              Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

              Why do you Grauniad readers feel the need to change words in pathetic ways

              My irony meter just exploded

              1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

                Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

                The word Grauniad has a history. The Manchester Guardian, as were, were famous for sending early editions by train to London, including an impressive array of spelling mistakes.

                The story goes that they misspelled their own name as the Grauniad, although obviously that's probably an embellishment.

                ( I do see the irony )

      2. Scott 26

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        "CYFS" - I take it you are a Kiwi, or at least are in Kiwiland

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        > My experiences with CP (or accusations thereoff) are that you need to get you own bloody lawyer as soon as you've come anywhere near it.

        First off, does CP mean "child porn" in this context? Are you chaps really so conversant in the subject that you need the convenience of an acronym???

        Second, yeah I'm sorry to hear about your case. The relevant law in England is utterly disastrous and I am pretty certain that it actually discourages people from reporting known cases. It looks like your boss might have been thinking along those lines.

        If the copper you mention really acted as you describe, the guy is an utter wanker and should not be anywhere near a uniform. There are sadly a number of cowboys in that profession that do not realise that emergency personnel (which I used to be) are not there to judge.

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

          "First off, does CP mean "child porn" in this context?"

          Yup, I just dislike typing it out.

          " The relevant law in England is utterly disastrous and I am pretty certain that it actually discourages people from reporting known cases. It looks like your boss might have been thinking along those lines."

          It was in NZ, hence the CYFS reference. While there is a lot of common ground between UK and NZ law, I wouldn't like to guess exactly how it works in the UK.

          Your point is pretty much what I was trying to say, that unless you are a LEO*, there are a number of things that are illegal to possess or view. Thus if you "discover" them, you have in fact committed a crime and handing them into the cops won't excuse that.

          Hence why I felt that the "I caught me a kiddie fiddler" was someone making shit up to try and support their argument. Unless said person was a LEO, in which case they where doing their job.

          "the guy is an utter wanker and should not be anywhere near a uniform."

          Hmm, I've obviously not communicated the story quite right. All the coppers involved where doing their jobs, where about as sensitive as they could be, and didn't overstep the normal procedures. Telling me I wasn't being prosecuted was part of the interview process, as you have to establish that I'm voluntarily giving evidence without being charged, arrested or being suspected. I'd have still been in trouble if I admitted to another crime in the interview, hence lawyer.

          A lot of police work is procedural chasing down of all the obvious leads. If they fail to do something obvious, like interviewing and eliminating from suspicion the people who discovered the evidence, then any prosecution will probably get knocked down in court. The defence could claim I'd planted the evidence, and used a lack of investigation into me as reasonable doubt.

          The harassment of my friend's brother was done by the cops, but again they where only doing their jobs. The instigators where the parents of the ex, who where absolutely abusing the legal system. They where/are a QC and a high court judge, so knew just what levers to pull, what sort of allegations to make etc.

          If a report of a potential crime is made, then we generally expect the police to investigate. Being investigated or audited is never pleasant, and in the case with SWATing and false accusations can result in quite a lot of harm. Allegations about abuse of a minor are taken very seriously, and it's very hard (if not impossible) to strike the right balance between protecting children and protecting the rights of the accused.

          So while I've heard some terrible things about NZ cops, and seen some really dodgy stuff done by them in court, all the ones I've personally dealt with have been reasonable and fair. They seem to be drumming a lot of the cowboys out too.

          I'll repeat my advice, if you discover something illegal or suspicious, you should report it to the authorities AND get a lawyer. Lawyers are remarkably cheap compared to potential alternatives.

          * law enforcement officer, to cover the range of flavours available

          ** technically presumed false, since I can't actually say for certain what happened.

      4. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

        (Writing this as someone personally responsible for the discovery, busting and jailing of a child porn pervert)"

        Wait, so you're somehow in a position to discover CP, then confront the suspect, and then jail them? So you're an investigator, a cop AND a judge?

        Or just trying too fucking hard?

        What's your problem?

        I only wrote that because otherwise some arsehole would say I was sticking up for child porn.

        But to clarify:

        It was around 2002. I was in charge of a server where someone was transferring child porn. I wasn't "trying too fucking hard" to do anything - I was just doing my job, and through looking at log files due to an unrelated issue, noticed these dodgy names.

        I did indeed check out the files, and they were really the most disgusting and graphic thing manageable.

        I contacted the internet watch foundation, who put me through directly to the police. I gave them logs, files, and IP addresses.

        In my initial contact I even said that I checked the files, and they were indeed as bad as the filenames made out.

        My contact (I forget his name) later phoned me and said that based on what I gave them, they got the guys identity (from freeserve - a freeserve dialup customer) and got a warrant. He told me that the guy had child porn photos on his wall, and on his desk. He said it was enough to be able to search his computer, where they found shit loads of bad stuff.

        I'm sorry if this sounds too unreal, but this is exactly how it went down. He said that the guy WAS NOT known to them in any shape or form, and that he strongly believed that if I hadn't have told them when I did, he was likely to actually carry out some direct attack himself.

        Maybe the detective was a clairvoyant, or there was sufficient evidence there to prove it. May be he shouldn't have speculated like that, but he did.

        I asked if I was required as a witness, and he replied that they had enough evidence, and that I wouldn't be needed.

        I asked about the files - if I needed to leave them untouched in case any forensic examination may be required. He said that they were not required, and that he has to warn me that technically I've broken the law too by having those files, but under the circumstances, there'd be no issue as long as I deleted them straight away. I replied that there was no objection there - I wanted to delete that shit since I first discovered it, and that whilst I worked in computers, he could be ensure that I'd wipe those disks in a proper manor, which I did. He was happy with that.

        There were one or 2 other minor calls, and I dunno.. 6 months later maybe, I got my final phone call from the police investigator.

        Unfortunately, I wasn't in at the time, so I still had some unanswered questions. But the message he left said something along the lines that the court case was over, the guy was jailed, and he was calling to thank me for my help, and reiterated that he was convinced my intervention stopped him going any further.

        That's what he said.

        That's how it happened.

        I'm no hero, I just reported stuff as I hope anyone would.

        It's unfortunate that your experience was more sour, but again, if you have issue with any of that, your fucking issue isn't with me, and your attack speaks volumes - you are a nasty piece of work - maybe the police you dealt with didn't like your vibe either?

        HAND

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Too much Daily Mail for my liking

          "I only wrote that because otherwise some arsehole would say I was sticking up for child porn."

          If you need to clarify a comment so that you don't appear to be sticking up for CP, then maybe you should rewrite so it doesn't appear that you're sticking up for CP.

          "Writing this as someone personally responsible for the discovery, busting and jailing of a child porn pervert"

          "I'm sorry if this sounds too unreal,"

          "I'm no hero, I just reported stuff as I hope anyone would."

          So did you bust and jail him or not? Because your story is now that you reported it, and nothing else. A LEO got a warrant, a LEO went and "busted" the guy (arrested), a LEO seized evidence, a prosecutor brought the case and a judge jailed the perp.

          It's like someone saying "I personally reported and rescued two kids from a burning building" when all they did was call the fire department.

          Your second post sounds more truthful, because you've toned down your bragging and taking of credit. Then you're back on your high horse :)

          "that he has to warn me that technically I've broken the law too by having those files, but under the circumstances, there'd be no issue as long as I deleted them straight away."

          "I was in charge of a server where someone was transferring child porn."

          Put that in next time. That's the most important thing an IT admin can take away from the whole experience.

          While you may have been given the all clear on your possession and viewing of those files, did they say anything about your role in supporting the distribution of them? That's the one with the biggest jail time attached, and the one you've admitted to.

          "May be he shouldn't have speculated like that, but he did."

          It's unusual practice for law enforcement to tell you anything about an ongoing case, unless you're a victim. Once it's gone to court, maybe, but until then revealing ANYTHING about an ongoing investigation to a member of the public can lead to a potential mistrial.

          "your fucking issue isn't with me,"

          Just with you taking credit for something you didn't do, in order to protect yourself from criticism.

          "you are a nasty piece of work"

          You boast about jailing a peado. Then you get shitty when your bullshit is challenged, and you spell out the actual story where you, in fact, do not jail anyone, but ran a server distributing CP.

          "maybe the police you dealt with didn't like your vibe either?"

          Eh, I think it was more to do with the person I reported (and my boss) being a freemason. The whole situation turned hostile pretty quickly, starting from the boss wanting to just make it all disappear.

          Hence my advice to get a lawyer if you get caught up in this crap.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stamping press, meet nail

    Doesn't this seem like trying to solve a riddle by writing a new dictionary? Feed hundreds of images into a program and hope that it kinda works well enough that you can tweak it to look convincing, or use Photoshop.

    1. cirby

      Re: Stamping press, meet nail

      ...except this is for video.

      For even a ten-second clip, it would take a ridiculous amount of time to do well - and the results would probably be pretty bad.

      For comparison, someone took one of the Carrie Fisher "added" shots from the last Star Wars movie and did their own version with this software, which arguably looks better than the professional version.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stamping press, meet nail

        It really doesn't. Mask tracking can be done in minutes, Premiere and Final Cut have really simple tools for it these days.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Stamping press, meet nail

          Mask tracking can be done in minutes, Premiere and Final Cut have really simple tools for it these days.

          But trickier when the person looks away from the camera - which GAN algorithms can do.

  3. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Devil

    Cue up a Hillary and Trump video in 5....4.....3....2....1. Or maybe comrade Kim and one of the Seven Dwarves?

    Those on the other side of the pond will have to set up their favorites political types.

    Yeah, this "tool" is gong to be a serious time-waster for many people and more fodder for the "fake news" brigade.

    1. Michael Thibault

      On the upside, it will very dramatically and very rapidly change animation, making it much more accessible.

  4. TRT Silver badge

    Fake actors...

    having fake orgasms. What has the world come to?

    1. Sampler

      Re: Fake actors...

      Most of it?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fake actors...

      having fake orgasms. What has the world come to?

      Trophy wives?

  5. tfewster Silver badge
    Facepalm

    So, from the article, there's no good uses for this, and plenty of bad. They could create and license the programs to legitimate organisations. Produce a few fun demos if they want to show Redditors how smart they are. But why release it into the wild?

    "It's because I want to spread this incredible computer virus technology to users who don't necessarily have a tech background," DeepScriptKiddies replied. "What could possibly go wrong?", he continued.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      here's no good uses for this,

      Replace the main actor in your blockbuster movie when he gets caught #metoo and recover his now worthless back catalog by replacing him with an actor who hasn't been caught yet.

      In fact have the role played by a cheap 'character actor' and then replace the face for the movie.

      Swap in a different ethnicity face for each new market.

      1. Big John Silver badge

        > "In fact have the role played by a cheap 'character actor' and then replace the face for the movie."

        This will free big name movie actors of their main stumbling block; Actually having to act. Now they can sub-contract that messy business to some hard-working stage actor and get on with the important work of being a celebrity.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          get on with the important work of being a celebrity.

          Generally the reason for employing a big star is their value for promotion and publicity rather than any actual acting ability. Once the customer gets to see the actor on-screen you already have their money

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        I can see it now, Kevin Spacey's small white body with the head ( and preferably neck ) of a very large muscular black man.

  6. Rattus Rattus

    This has been coming for a long time, and those who think it should not have been released have obviously forgotten how the internet works. There is no security through obscurity, once a tool like this exists it is guaranteed to be in the wold sooner rather than later. Yes, yes, you can make your neighbour look bad, child porn uses, etc etc. That's all beside the point. No point in wringing your hands over it. The only thing we can do is adapt to its existence. In fact, release of this app should make stuff like "revenge porn" less of an issue rather than more - if an ex releases a genuine video of you, you can easily point to this app and say "Not me, clearly made up."

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...make your neighbour look bad..."

      Or possibly make them look very good indeed.

    2. itzman

      Actually your post clearly makes the point

      that there is security through obscurity.

      If you didn't know this tool existed, you couldn't use it could you?

      I run a well known website. People are always knocking on the doors. All the well known doors.

      Since I am a grumpy curmudgeon, who doesn't trust 'frameworks' and 'content management systems' none of those doors actually exist.

  7. Long John Brass Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    FFS people get a grip

    Oh noes they can make fake videos of peoples. Que Shock, Horror and outrage; We can't believe anything we see on the TeeVee anymore! Really? You only *JUST* came to that conclusion?

    IMHO this is a good thing, The less people automatically trust what they see on the internet & main stream media the better; Engage your rational logical mental capacities. Killery and the great orange one would never get it on. The Great orange once and Mr Pence on the other hand :)

    *Film at 11*

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FFS people get a grip

      People will always trust what they see on the internet or tv if it agrees with their narrative.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: FFS people get a grip

        @AC: It was ever thus. Why else would people continue to buy the Daily Mail?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: FFS people get a grip

          Or the Guardian.

        2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: FFS people get a grip

          @AC: It was ever thus. Why else would people continue to buy the Daily Mail?

          Because they agree with the racist, homophobic, sexist and transgenderistic(?), etc nature of it?

          It's noticeable that every other paper was condeming the Dorchester and the Presidents Club and the abuse of the girls that worked there, but the Daily Mail's first statement was that the Presidents Club was full of prostitutes. One can only surmise that some of the old pervs who were members of the club and attended were very closely related to the Daily Mail, the conservative party or both as is inevitably the case.

          1. davidp231

            Re: FFS people get a grip

            " @AC: It was ever thus. Why else would people continue to buy the Daily Mail?

            Because they agree with the racist, homophobic, sexist and transgenderistic(?), etc nature of it?"

            They've run out of S*n branded toilet paper? And there are no nettles nearby as I'm sure that would be preferrable to using either of the other two.

          2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

            Re: FFS people get a grip

            Many of the attendees of that evening were donors to the Labour party and Liberal Democrats.

            1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

              Re: FFS people get a grip

              Many of the attendees of that evening were donors to the Labour party and Liberal Democrats.

              Probably very true, many of the political "elite" and their friends seem to be cast from the same mold, and just wear different colour tie. It would be a very interesting guest and membership list.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: FFS people get a grip

      "Oh noes they can make fake videos of peoples. Que Shock, Horror and outrage; We can't believe anything we see on the TeeVee anymore! Really? You only *JUST* came to that conclusion?"

      I'm sure three-letter agencies have had this capability a long time. It's something new that it's mainstream and can be done by Joe Bloggs in a couple of hours on fairly common and cheap consumer equipment.

      "IMHO this is a good thing, The less people automatically trust what they see on the internet & main stream media the better;"

      Absolutely!!!

  8. Teiwaz Silver badge

    Child ???

    How ???

    The only thing I can think of is mixing the [hands on cheeks kid's] (for lack of names) face with [insert some female child actress] face with a copy of dwarf porn.

    Like that's going to be convincing...I'm not saying some people won't get off on it, but it'll be the freakshow crowd like that carcrash lot from a few years ago - don't see them pilloried, imprisoned or sent to therapy.

    Actually having vids for the bodies are going to be illegal anyway, so no magic technical workaround has been invented...

    Was there this concern when photography was invented in the first place, or canvas, or oil based paints, or pigments in rocks for that matter...

    It's a wonder the cupids are still allowed on paintings in galleries

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Child ???

      Some girls have pretty much grown as tall as they're going to get by age 13 or so. You don't think some jilted boyfriend putting the face of a 13 or 14 year old on porn with an 18-20 year old 'actress' and sharing the video with her classmates isn't going to cause a whole lot of trouble?

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Child ???

        . You don't think some jilted boyfriend putting the face of a 13 or 14 year old on porn with an 18-20 year old 'actress' and sharing the video with her classmates isn't going to cause a whole lot of trouble?

        'causetrouble?

        It'll probably cause a really fuss. Funnily enough the similar tactics have been around in schools as a form of harassment for decades, the old photo taped to a poorly drawn cow to demean girls (often perpetrated by other girls) along with other such behaviour has caused suicides in the past.

        Why should one type of incident garner more publicity and cries of 'something must be done' when the other passes with only momentary regret for the most part???

        1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

          Re: Child ???

          Because we survived what used to happen but what happens now is much more serious and for some reason more children these days are more vulnerable?

          Seriously though, it was inevitable, and it's been in popular sci-fi and hollywood films and others for years therefore to not see it coming is rather shortsighted - it was only a matter of time. Being stupid and reactionairy won't help a thing and as pointed out in the first post here, the article writer has clearly fallen for this - possibly for more clicks. Instead what should be considered is how to deal with what will happen as it will become even easier and more accessible and it will become harder to tell altered videos from reality. I'm not a young female but my suspicion would be that the best way to deal with it would be to "own" the situation rather than go into denial because negative reactions rarely work.

          1. Symon Silver badge
            Childcatcher

            Re: Child ???

            This technology was predicted by the Brass Eye special, 'Paedogeddon'

            https://youtu.be/RcU7FaEEzNU?t=1017

            A bit NSFW

          2. jelabarre59 Silver badge

            Re: Child ???

            Seriously though, it was inevitable, and it's been in popular sci-fi and hollywood films and others for years therefore to not see it coming is rather shortsighted

            Looker came out in 1981 (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0082677/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1)

    2. sisk Silver badge

      Re: Child ???

      I thought the same thing when the article mentioned child pornography. You'd have to have some kiddy porn already to provide the body. Otherwise you just end up with a child's head on an adult's body, which really isn't going to work. I don't really think that's a valid concern with this program.

      Revenge porn and blackmail are big problems though. And I would imagine that most celebrities would have a pretty big and legitimate problem with their faces being pasted into porn for people to get off on, though provided those videos were acknowledged as fakes I would view that as a lesser problem than videos made by disgruntled exes of "regular" people and passed off as real. It's still a problem, don't misunderstand. Those people have an absolute right to feel violated by such things and it shouldn't happen. But videos being passed off as real would be worse.

      And, frankly, outside of Hollywood and film schools I fail to see any non-pornographic uses for this sort of software. Even in Hollywood I think it would be hard to legally justify using this rather than just hiring the actor unless they were dead or you needed a much younger version of them. I would think that any court in the land would rule that the actor in question would be entitled to compensation for using this to insert them in a movie. Film school students might - MIGHT - get a break right up until they try to distribute their videos on the grounds that a film school student is unlikely to be able to hire an A list actor to star in their class project.

  9. DCFusor Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    A good use

    Now that any skiddie can do it, video should be downgraded seriously as legal evidence of anything, as should audio (same situation). There will have to be a court battle or few to establish this, and in the end it'll still come down to "he said, she said" one of them wearing a uniform - but even then, of late a lot of wrongful or at least extremely doubtful convictions have been overturned once it was found out that say, the drug lab tester was taking, not testing the drugs, or other chain of evidence issues. This could get interesting, did someone bring popcorn?

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: A good use

      This tech won't be able to escape forensic detection for some time. Only to the casual eye will it be convincing, if that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A good use

        "Only to the casual eye will it be convincing, if that."

        The article's SFW example video is patently faked in the area of the neck. It might pass in a still frame but movement quickly shows the joins. The brain predicts how body parts move - and any discrepancy attracts attention.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: A good use

        This tech won't be able to escape forensic detection for some time.

        Seeing as the approach – an "antagonistic" neural network – relies on a forensic AI evaluating its creations then I think you're wrong. The two work in tandem to create the convincing image. We're rapidly approaching the point where computer image recognition is more reliable than the human kind.

        See this article for an earlier example and explanation.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: A good use

          Then how come AI-driven cars STILL get into accidents that can't seem to be anything else's fault but its (like the Tesla that didn't see the broad side of a semi)?

          1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

            Re: A good use

            Then how come AI-driven cars STILL get into accidents that can't seem to be anything else's fault but its (like the Tesla that didn't see the broad side of a semi)?

            1) The driver was an idiot - harsh but true (sorry). The Tesla automation system is an aid to driving, not an autopilot. What was worse is that this guy was an evangelist for Tesla and really should have known this although Tesla's naming of the service didn't help to be fare (since renamed).

            2) The US is one of the few countries where it is not mandatory to have bars between the wheels of HGVs. These are in place due to the number of human controlled vehicles that have gone under them.

            3) The HGV pulled across the path of the Tesla, presenting the Tesla with an open stretch of road to it's sensors. See point 1, it's not an autopilot system, it just has sensors at around headlight height to check for other vehicles, the gap in the HGV was "correctly" identified as a gap (no height analysis is normally required).

          2. jmch Silver badge

            Re: A good use

            "Then how come AI-driven cars STILL get into accidents that can't seem to be anything else's fault but its (like the Tesla that didn't see the broad side of a semi)?"

            The premise isn't that AI vision / recognition is perfect but that it's better than human. In the Tesla case you mention, the human driver also missed it, so the AI was at least no worse than human

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: A good use

              The human missed it because he wasn't paying attention while the computer eye was supposed to be paying attention. Big difference. And let's not get started on all the attempts to foil computer eyes with infrared dazzlers and other assorted tech. What's one of the most common articles here at El Reg? The "AI Falls For Dumb Trick" article, like the computer ear that hears something completely different to what we hear, and all it took was changes (potentially possible in realtime) too subtle for human ears to pick up. Human senses are an evolved feature so have quite a few built-in adaptations (thus why newborn babies were able to recognize human faces in experiments). Just saying it's probably longer than you think before we get from here to there.

    2. jmch Silver badge

      Re: A good use

      "video should be downgraded seriously as legal evidence of anything, as should audio (same situation)"

      It would at least require forensic examination of the underlying bits, I'm guessing that it should be possible to detect the splicing by examining the file and metadata, even if it's not possible to see with the naked eye

  10. John Savard Silver badge

    Almost Legitimate Use

    I've always wanted to put the face of Larry Hagman on that of Roger Perry in "Tomorrow is Yesterday"...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's one way to get it watched

    Surely it also works the other way: you slap a pornstar's face onto your wedding video?

    Might as well also sprinkle a few rich & famous amongst the guests while we're at it.

    1. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Re: It's one way to get it watched

      ... or go for someone good looking instead?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's one way to get it watched

        > ... or go for someone good looking instead?

        I wasn't talking about my partner.

    2. 142

      Re: It's one way to get it watched

      Actually, a great use case here is to make homemade porn with your partner, and use this to faceswap your faces out with someone else's, rather than, say wearing masks or whatnot.

  12. DCFusor Silver badge

    forensic detection ain't like TV - and isn't on your side anyway usually

    Fixed DEC computers back in the day for forensic labs (including FBI) amongst other customers. Surely you jest - they couldn't tell picric acid from ANFO, or hair from pine needles. Voice print machines covered with dust.

    I know in the case of audio - authoritatively, that I can do it so well that pretty much $deity couldn't tell. Happens I had a lot to do with nonlinear audio editing and DSP in my career, as well as general human speech research, but I presume there are others with similar video and math experience. Doubt it'll reach the level of the movie Rising Son anytime soon. The real issue is that now there's doubt and as always, the defense has to prove the surveilers lied (guilty till proven otherwise).

    Still beats there being no doubt at all - you guys on the east side of the pond with all your cameras might want to be glad about that.

    Second part of the subject - their forensics will always claim a video *they* tampered with is genuine, right?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: forensic detection ain't like TV - and isn't on your side anyway usually

      "[...] you guys on the east side of the pond with all your cameras might want to be glad about that."

      It's surprising how often a action against the police finds that the appropriate CCTV camera footage was unavailable for that day day.

      A man was fined for overstaying his time in a parking slot. They sent him the two timestamped pictures to prove it. He protested his innocence. He then noticed that another car was in its same position in both pictures - with the same door open.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: forensic detection ain't like TV - and isn't on your side anyway usually

      On the other hand, a digital photograph will no longer be useful as an alibi.

      I really don't see a good and valuable use for this technology.

  13. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    It seems obvious to me...

    ...that the answer for ALL iffy technological questions is for education and society to improve sufficiently to mean that 'evil' uses of tech are widely depreciated.

    But the road we seem to be travelling down is to turn out warped and appalling human beings, and then try to micro-control what they are allowed to do...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good News!

    Once this starts getting used to generate fake political speeches, digital signing of everything will happen quick smart.

    All pretense of a breakable crypto for mass consumption will be ejected through the nearest window (at about mach 7)

    Thank goodness for their bloody self interest.

    1. davidp231

      Re: Good News!

      "All pretense of a breakable crypto for mass consumption will be ejected through the nearest window (at about mach 7)"

      Only mach 7? Wouldn't warp* 9 be quicker?

      *I know we've not cracked FTL travel yet but even fictional it would still be quicker than the higher end of hypersonic.

  15. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Not just faces

    It seems the principle is applicable to much more than the salacious topic that the author has chosen (clickbait, anyone?).

    Why not use it to remove undesirable individuals from family videos. Or add other people in. Or move the whole setting to Paris, or somewhere more exotic. Or turn that random passer-by in the background into The Queen or George Clooney (or Donald Trump).

    It doesn't seem to be much of a stretch to be able to remove ugly background (power lines, graffiti, photobombers) or maybe even correct for camera shake.

    While we are told that porn has been one of the drivers of internet "development", focusing on that for a cheap article in a tech pub. is unimaginative and sleazy.

    1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

      Re: Not just faces

      Except that most of the things you mention are routinely done for film and television productions and can be done by anyone with a copy of After Effects and a few hours to spare to learn the necessary skills.

      The real benefit of this particular software is that, at a stroke, it has rendered revenge porn almost completely ineffectual. (Granted, it won't make the abuse of trust any easier to deal with, but the power of revenge porn is the social shame and with plausible deniability on their side victims will much less to deal with.)

      (Apologies to those who make the same point further down.)

  16. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Completely unastonishing human doings

    So far, most of the villains have used it to map the faces of women celebrities onto their favorite smut stars. That's incredibly horrible already

    After the safe space has been safely reached, can we have an explanation about WHY this is "incredibly horrible" beyond the implied "this triggers me".

    "women celebrities" are merged "favorite smut stars" like butter is merged into bread. That's how people roll.

    1. Big John Silver badge

      Re: Completely unastonishing human doings

      And it's not much different than caricature drawings anyway, which can be far more personal and hurtful than any doctored photo.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Completely unastonishing human doings

      Most women celebrities ARE favourite smut stars

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm just glad George Lucas can't use it to further f*ck up the original star wars trilogy.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    80's vids

    I have fond memories of the "aerobic workout" videos of the 80's.

    Now THAT was some great cinematography!

  19. Richard 81
    Childcatcher

    The child angle

    Pretty sure putting a kids face on a smut movie would put you on the wrong side of UK law already. Didn't those anti-smut laws our benevolent overlords pass a couple of years back include simulated acts and even animations?

    1. MrXavia
      Big Brother

      Re: The child angle

      They did indeed, our benevolent overlords love banning things without actually thinking through the problem... I often wonder if they ever actually think before acting...

      From what I can see, bans usually drive stuff underground and increase the danger to people, because if there is no legal and harmless way to get what someone wants, they will often turn to illegal ways to get it...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The child angle

      "Didn't those anti-smut laws our benevolent overlords pass a couple of years back include simulated acts and even animations?"

      IIRC any representation of someone "looking under 18" is potentially illegal. That also includes fully clothed pictures. It is effectively a thought crime when the prosecution is based on what they think you "saw" in an apparently innocent picture.

      The UK police have even successfully prosecuted someone for watching a "certified over 18" web site - because one of the people "looked under 18". It took a long and costly appeal process to get the conviction overturned.

      1. MrZoolook

        Re: The child angle

        I still shudder how calling someone an asshole can be treated as a racially motivated crime if anyone, even someone not involved, 'perceives' it as racially motivated.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    allways the negative, never the positive.

    I personally love some of the good ideas people have had above,

    removing people from family movie's, (esp the ex etc...!)

    I personally would love to add say myself (or my kids) into a favorite movie. EG become Luke Skywalker, or such like. you could literally become the hero in a movie prior to watching it, how cool would that be..!

    I wonder if I could give myself a great big rack too.....? hmmmm. :)

    1. MrZoolook

      Re: allways the negative, never the positive.

      "There's no rush, Holly."

  21. handleoclast Silver badge

    Not as good as claimed

    At least, going by the sample clip in the article, it's not that good. Good enough to fool plenty of people when the fake video hits twatter, but not everyone.

    At first glance it seemed fine. But that clip looped and it soon became obvious it was faked. In the final portion her neck swells up slightly on the left side (her right). Sorta like Alien deciding to come out of the neck instead of the chest.

    It would pass casual inspection but you don't need fancy forensic tools to realize there's something dodgy about it. Of course, it's bound to improve. But not, I suspect, to the point where it will fool forensic analysis.

    1. itzman

      Re: Not as good as claimed

      "not, I suspect, to the point where it will fool forensic analysis?"

      Wanna bet?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: Not as good as claimed

          Even simple open source projects generate video (generally horses and zebra for some reason) that are essentially undetectable to regular viewers.

          Your regular viewers are not very discerning, are they?

          Apart from the fact that zebras and horses have subtle differences around the head and that fixing those would be harder...

          First problem is that the stripes seem to be suffering from Moiré fringes. That could be an artifact of the small size of the image and GIF compression. Maybe.

          Second problem is a bigger one. When the zorse? hebra? turns to move right-to-left. As it faces us the stripes on its face slide and swirl. It's a rather disconcerting effect. Especially when a stripe momentarily covers its left eye.

          It might fool machine vision, though. :)

  22. Maryland, USA

    At 61...

    I'm grateful this technology has come while I still can.

  23. Locky Silver badge

    On the plus side

    It will remove the threat of revenge porn

    "That's not me, move along" becomes the defacto response

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: On the plus side

      Ha! I posted before I saw your comment... But yeah, and a corollary related to privacy is that once we're all figuratively naked, sanctimony will be rarer.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: On the plus side

        "[...] once we're all figuratively naked, sanctimony will be rarer."

        I doubt it - if anything the Western world has gone backwards since the 1970s. Too many people still have a big identity investment in the idea of "original sin". It hinges on the mistaken assumption that human nakedness is always irresistibly tempting - and therefore exciting for them.

        There was that 1970s neat phrase "What is deemed an obscenity in law? That which turns the judge on"

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All deniability is now plausible

    So what's the problem? Seems like the problem of revenge porn has been solved.

    And there but for the Grace of God go I. So when will we ever learn?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: All deniability is now plausible

      It's an awesome opportunity.

      Do anything you want, video yourself doing it and then run for president - people will assume it's fake

      In fact the more depraved, deviant and bazaar the video the more fake it will look

  25. Milton Silver badge

    Genie, bottle

    I won't add anything to this discussion by offering various Pros and Cons for this tech: anyone with a brain, five minutes and a bottle of beer could make a long list for both columns.

    What I will point out is that this another one of those tech genies that cannot be put back in its bottle. As soon as the arsewipe British sewerpress gets into full self-righteous hypocrite mode (takes the Mail about 20 seconds) there wil be an ill-informed, hysterical shitstorm of moralising, virtue signalling and, who knows with this idiot government, foolish and poorly considered legislation.

    It won't matter.

    There's clearly going to be an arms race of sorts between the fakers of video (who will be doing it for every possible good, evil or simply sleazy reason) and those whose job will be to identify it.

    Kiddie porn is always a worry, but let's be perfectly honest: you'd sooner those sickos kept their hands on the mouse than prowled the streets. They can't be cured, they can't all be caught, so if containing the vile buggers in their basements is the best we can do—at least with a faked "actor", no child is actiually being directly harmed. That won't be a popular view, but I suspect it's practical.

    But that aside, what use will video evidence be? Won't the Orange Imbecile be ecstatic to plausibly say, of Vlad Putin's home movies, "Oh no, that's not me with those two highly productive Russian girls ...Fake video!"

    It's a real can of worms, and the forensic aspects will be fascinating.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I confess

    My immediate thought was whether the other half would be up for playing around with this.

    Just privately of course, and airgapped. Re-image the computer afterwards.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Except for this, of course.

    The only problem here is that most people have additional distinctive features on display in porn movies,

    Judge: Sir, is that your, um, well, ah, um, there in this video?

    Defendant: I wish!

    Defendant's girlfriend: Me too!

    1. Mycho Silver badge

      Re: Except for this, of course.

      Nothing new there either. Minnie Driver fat shamed her own body double.

  28. JLV Silver badge

    Another Brunner prediction comes to pass

    Not sure which John Brunner book it was but either Stand on Zanzibar or The Sheep Look up had someone pondering a nasty image, saying something like "of course, these days, they could fake anything, right down to the exact pubic hair".

    He's not necessarily the most entertaining SF author, and sometimes his predictions have gone sideways, but overall he's had a really good knack at predicting crap that wasn't obvious in the late 60s. And also not the kind of stuff that SF writers usually bother with predicting - no flying cars.

    1. Long John Brass Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Another Brunner prediction comes to pass

      There was an SF story; Sorry can't for the life of me remember the Author or Title...

      But there was a scene where A random person gets killed via robot/drone, the robot/drone then scatters forensic evidence about the scene and on the body. a scrap of cloth, hairs and other DNA evidence etc.

      The mark then gets arrested, tried and convicted on the above evidence. The trick used in the book wasn't high-tech but left a deep impression on me; I never bought into DNA evidence as a rock solid proof after reading that book. Thing is the book pre-dated practical DNS evidence testing by some margin.

      Upshot? Anything can be faked. Always be sceptical. Engage brain before feelings.

      1. JLV Silver badge

        Re: Another Brunner prediction comes to pass

        10 or so evidence points? Thats a PKD but ive forgotten its name

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Another Brunner prediction comes to pass

        "Upshot? Anything can be faked. Always be sceptical. Engage brain before feelings."

        But feelings are in the brain, too, and unfortunately, instinct tends to favor emotion over reason, thus something that appeals to emotion has more power than one appealing to reason, and there's little we can do to control it; we're no Vulcans.

  29. J__M__M

    well I'll bet this guy is kicking himself

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/01/25/college_nude_selfie_hacker_jailed/

  30. NanoMeter

    Time for celebs to lawyer up

    Celebs should already start to worry. Soon Scarlett Johansson will be featured in hundreds of (fake) porn videos.

    1. JLV Silver badge

      Re: Time for celebs to lawyer up

      We could restore her boobies to their natural state (sigh) :|

  31. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    What a thoroughly useful way to consume bandwidth and hours of free time.

    Just a thought: if this much effort could be put into developing social skills the Fakirs could be having fun with real people instead of their right hands and a mashup vid of whoever their victim-du-jour is.

    By the way, Fakirs: definitely 100% creepy. Don't blame anyone else if you get a visit after some idiot stalker puts the police on high alert.

    Ah the wonder of technology in the hands of the clever.

  32. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Scary teeth on that Daisy Ridley link.

    Nuff said.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MMD

    Come on, this could already be done (and has been) with an off-the-shelf copy of MikuMikuDance.

    That is, of course, presuming you have a Vocaloid fetish.

  34. Brian Allan 1

    Isn't technology wonderful!

  35. Ernie Mercer

    I think a similar app was used to create this video, featuring the Trump "family":

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7Uy0Uznw4E

  36. onefang Silver badge

    So we are talking about AI faking bits of porn, and it's only faces? I'm sure there are plenty of other body parts you might want to fake in porn.

  37. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    QotW

    Mine's the one with Samantha Cole. #itsbeenawhile #ifyouasknicely P.S. Chaps, I reckon we're definitely turning a corner...

  38. StuntMisanthrope Bronze badge

    Girl Power!

    Still worse. The UX that is, before I get run out of town. #strangedays #thatsaboutsevenlogins

  39. Milton Silver badge

    Authentication stamps

    Topic seems asleep but in case anyone's still chewing on this ... the whole "convincing video fakery" thing seems to me like a can of worms that's actually going to become a bloody great mountain of unpleasant wriggly things. I'm sure everyone who's read about this has been wondering what the implications will be not just for issues like celeb-, revenge- and child-porn but important questions of deniability—"Fake Moscow, fake girls, fake lemonade", says Trump's spokes-gruffalo, etc etc.

    Which leads me to wonder about how we build a new generation of digital cameras and associated ware which implant authentication stamps, like watermarks, into images and video so that, from a legal point of view, it will be possible to distinguish original primary-source photos/footage from—well, from everything else. Without having thought much about it yet, I'm guessing this will require some serious crypto deployment. I'm even wondering whether some analogue of blockchain might have a role. How shall we contrive to guarantee that this digital image file is the untampered one showing precisely what a specific camera saw at a specific datetime? Worse: how shall we know that this camera wasn't itself looking at a screen showing faked footage, or that an optical MitM attack can be excluded?

    Myriad challenges surrounding a highly technical issue which will have simply huge social, political and legal ramifications: personally, I foresee almost endless opportunities for a generation of postgrads. This one's gonna run and run. Looking forward to seeing ideas on this.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Authentication stamps

      Simply put, you can't. Camera signing keys have been extracted in the past.

  40. David Roberts Silver badge
    Go

    Good things could be done

    AFAIK you can order a book specially printed with your child included in the story. I think this includes pictures.

    So not a long stretch to give your kid a video (Frozen?) with them appearing. Just need a bit of home video of their face. Overlay on a character. Special birthday.

    I am sure many adults would like to appear in Star Trek or Star Wars. Robocop should be even easier.

    You could watch yourself scorring the winning goal, winning the 100m final..........the possibilities are endless.

    Porn is just one aspect of cinematic processing; you might as well try and stigmatise video cameras and editing software (standard on mobile phones) because they can be used to take illegal images. This latest software is just a refinement of current technology. The genie is out of the bottle.

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