back to article Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks

Artificially intelligent software is used more and more to automatically detect and ban nude images on social networks and similar sites. However, today's algorithms and models aren't perfect at clocking racy snaps, and a lot of content moderation still falls to humans. Enter an alternative solution: use AI to magically draw …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The team hopes to continue improving their system to make the internet a safer space for children, [...]"

    It would appear that yet again children are to be "protected" from the sight of nudity. Yet they will be told by the same people that the image of a man nailed to a cross is good for them. Not to mention the educational paintings of their religion's martyrs being barbequed or torn apart with hot pincers.

    Kids see nudity as no problem - until they learn that it gets them into trouble with the sex-obsessed dogma of their parents' religion. That is how they acquire their subsequent prurient fascination with the "forbidden fruit".

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      The Catholic university wants to protect children by blocking images of women......

      Perhaps version 2 would replace online images of priests with pictures of naked women

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I came here looking for a bash the bishop comment and was not disappointed.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          I'm sure we're all very pleased that your determined search for bishop-bashing came to such a speedy climax.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Why thanks, I have to hand it to the original poster though.

          2. frank ly Silver badge

            All new and expectant mothers will be given small blindfolds to be worn by their child during breast feeding.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              That's risky given the churches reputation.

      2. Nolveys Silver badge
        Trollface

        Perhaps version 2 would replace online images of priests with pictures of naked women

        Or at least replace the alter boy with pants.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Thumb down? Nice to see the Vatican reads El Reg.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Make fun all you want, but when they perfect this algorithm we all know these students are going to make sh*tloads of cash in the parental control market.

        The whole puritan values crap is a smokescreen. This isn't about Catholicism, it's about Capitalism.

    2. macjules Silver badge

      Shouldn't this AI also be applied to any pictures of choirboys? From my recollection they would appear to be far more at risk from priests than any naked lady.

    3. wayne 8

      Here's an idea. De-stigmatize the natural human body. Remove the excitement of seeing something that is not supposed to be seen.

      Male nipples are nonfunctional and okay to be seen. Female nipples are functional, nourishing life, and not to be seen.

      This is a fine example of the limited capabilities of machine learning/intelligence. It cannot differentiate between cloth and flesh.

      This will only encourage searching for the original images.

      1. tiggity Silver badge

        .. but how did the system behave when confronted with moobs?

    4. JDX Gold badge

      1. Nobody is ever told that "the image of a man nailed to a cross is good for them". They're told that the image is a useful reminder of what their religion holds as central.

      2. "Kids see nudity as no problem - until they learn that it gets them into trouble with the sex-obsessed dogma of their parents' religion. That is how they acquire their subsequent prurient fascination with the "forbidden fruit"."

      This is just bollocks. Most kids in the UK don't have religious parents these days, or have much exposure to religion. Yet they still become fascinated with sex and nudity. ALL teenagers have "prurient fascination with the "forbidden fruit"."

      Religious (and other) people see that nudity naturally leads to lust. Which doesn't seem controversial, being lustful to the sight of (normally hidden) naked flesh seems to be how we work. THe issue is that some people consider that lust a problem to moral behaviour, and others see it as natural, proper behaviour.

      What we consider 'nudity' appears relative. Whatever you don't normally get to see, or are not 'supposed' to be able to see. e.g. a woman in a bikini on the beach not particularly tantalising. If she wears a dress over the bikini and the wind gives you a glipse up her skirt. it is.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Most kids in the UK don't have religious parents these days

        That's true, but it doesn't mean that religion has no role in shaping conventional UK views on nudity. Attitudes are shaped over many years, and several generations, my parents generation were somewhat religious, and that was shaped by their parents, who were more religious (or at least felt that they had to pay lip service). Where we are now is a watering down of the original religious feelings (eg, bikinis are considered acceptable these days), but there's still some remaining influence.

        (And of course there's still bishops in the House of Lords, so religion is still part of our government).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "[...] but there's still some remaining influence."

          That influence is disproportionate. Those holding those views as "god given" are generally not open to reason and are the most vociferous in marshalling opposition to any liberalisation.

          The religious opposition to civil same-sex marriage was, and in NI still is, an example of how that minority try to impose their religious dogma proscriptions on the laws of civil society.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Most kids in the UK don't have religious parents these days, or have much exposure to religion. Yet they still become fascinated with sex and nudity. "

        My Finnish old girlfriends would roll their eyes and say "Typical English". They have been Anglophiles for over 50 years - but instances of the British equation of nudity = sex still really annoys them. In Finland nudity is taken as natural. Sex is something you do with someone with whom you form a particular relationship.

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    I wonder which they think more important, covering up various lady parts in photos or helping to relieve suffering and poverty in the world?

    What a fucking waste of a University education.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "[...] or helping to relieve suffering and poverty in the world?"

      IIRC that particular religion makes it a duty to ensure that people with a terminal illness suffer for the glory of their god. They concentrate on proselytizing to poor people - and add to their plight by banning reliable contraception.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        I'm a tad bit surprised that they haven't drawn certain other religions universities into this pit. Quite a few preach that a woman's body is sinful and should not be seen except by her husband. Punishment is often severe for violators. But then again, not working is other religions because they are "false" is also in the mindset.

    2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      I wonder which they think more important, covering up various lady parts in photos or helping to relieve suffering and poverty in the world?

      That would be an ecumenical matter

      1. SMITCH79

        "That would be an ecumenical matter"

        more tea father? Aww, go on, go on, go on. go on.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        There is a certain Father Ted-ness to this whole thing. Presumably there's some good Catholic boys working on this, and they've got a cast iron excuse for looking at endless pictures of nudes. It's working out quite well for them, isn't it!

        Just think of all that unit testing they need to do, all the algorithm refinement. They can string this out for several years at least.

        Ted would be proud, and presumably they are too...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Presumably there's some good Catholic boys working on this, and they've got a cast iron excuse for looking at endless pictures of nudes. "

          Possibly they have realised that it is what is hidden that is alluring. Salome's dance for King Herod was almost certainly salacious. In the 19th century that was portrayed as The Dance of the Seven Veils - a strip-tease.

          Humans are an animal with curiosity. What cannot be seen - or only glimpsed - fires the imagination. D.H.Lawrence's poem about figs made the case that fig leaves are not for modesty - but to excite interest. Nudity per se soon becomes normal and boring. Adding a skimpy bikini will do wonders for the appeal of the hidden - especially for people conditioned always to regard nudity as sexual.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            As C.S. Lewis said...

            In the Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis, 1948), Screwtape ( a demon) writes to a junior tempter thus:

            ",,,,The age of jazz has succeeded the age of the waltz, and we now teach men to like women whose bodies are scarcely distinguishable from those of boys. Since this is a kind of beauty even more transitory than most, we thus aggravate the female's chronic horror of growing old (with many excellent results) and render her less willing and less able to bear children. And that is not all. We have engineered a great increase in the license which society allows to the representation of the apparent nude (not the real nude) in art, and its exhibition on the stage or the bathing beach. It is all a fake, of course; the figures in the popular art are falsely drawn; the real women in bathing suits or tights are actually pinched in and propped up to make them appear firmer and more slender and more boyish than nature allows a full-grown woman to be. Yet at the same time, the modern world is taught to believe that is being "frank" and "healthy" and getting back to nature. As a result we are more and more directing the desires of men to something which does not exist—making the role of the eye in sexuality more and more important and at the same time making its demands more and more impossible. What follows you can easily forecast!" pgs. 102-103

            Now, many people do not accept Lewis' theology, but I think he has a point here, with the acceptable female body shape being one that few healthy adult women have.

            More real nudity, not less. You know it makes sense!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

              Lewis was conditioned by the Edwardian era that had promoted over-indulgence in food for those who could afford - and often a poor diet of fattening food for those who couldn't.

              He was writing when the emancipated flapper fashion styles of the 1920/30s were accompanied by women particularly being encouraged to do exercises and eat healthily. This was followed by the austere, but healthy, food regime of the 1940s - with many women now doing the physical work previously reserved for men. Most women film stars of the day were certainly not gamine waifs.

              Since the 1970s the general UK population has been increasingly fed on fattening diets - with a significant reduction in physical exercise in their daily life. In the last 20 years many in the population have achieved a level of obesity that far exceeds that of previous generations. The catwalk models' style of emaciated "heroin chic" was a fleeting phenomenon in recent years - and rarely seen in the streets.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                >Lewis was conditioned by the Edwardian era that had promoted over-indulgence in food for those who could afford

                He certainly couldn't - spent long periods living from hand to mouth despite his books popularity - he was a very committed whisky drinker, sexual adventurer and sadist (in the true sense - was a big Marquis de Sade fan) - used to sign off his letters to like minded friends 'lover of the whip'.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                  Please provide a citation for C.S. Lewis being a "a very committed whisky drinker, sexual adventurer and sadist (in the true sense - was a big Marquis de Sade fan) ". This is far from the normal biographical accounts of someone who was wounded in the trenches in WW1, and worked for many years as an Oxford Don. Most of his work was published while at Oxford, so I hardly think he "spent long periods living from hand to mouth despite his books popularity".

                  1. The_Idiot

                    Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                    Hmmm - Let's see:

                    http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/12/01/the-c-s-lewis-you-never-knew/

                    "Lewis displayed an interest in sadomasochism during his youth. He read the writings of the Marquis de Sade; once became drunk at a party and begged people to allow him to whip them; and signed three letters to friend Arthur Greeves with the closing “lover of the whip,” according to McGrath’s biography."

                    1. The_Idiot

                      Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                      And from the same article:

                      "“His books left him poor,” Maudlin said. “He had all of this money coming in, but he didn’t take those royalties.”

                      Lewis vowed to donate all the money he made from his books on Christianity, Maudlin says. He got big tax bills for his Christian books but struggled to pay them because he had given the money away.

                      Lewis refused to renounce his vow even though his money worries persisted throughout his life, Maudlin says."

                      "“American publishers worried about offending their more puritanical readers because it seemed impossible to get a dust jacket picture of Jack without a pint or a cigarette,” says Michael Tomko, a literature professor at Villanova University in Pennsylvania."

                      "When the University of St. Andrews in Scotland awarded Lewis an honorary degree in 1945, Lewis gloomily joked that he preferred getting a “case of Scotch whiskey.”"

                      1. veti Silver badge

                        Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                        I'm sure Lewis would have known how to spell "whisky". And cigarettes? Surely those didn't become sinful until the early 80s.

                        I don't know much about Lewis's life, but that linked article doesn't fill me with faith in the rigour of its research and writing. To parlay one drunken incident at a student party into his being "a big Marquis de Sade fan" does not, to me, look like research conducted in good faith.

                        1. The_Idiot

                          Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                          With respect, the Anonymous post asked for a citation - a citation was provided. Additionally the McGrath biography from which the article quotes is by Dr Alister McGrath, not someone totally unknown for his rigour in such things:

                          https://www.tyndale.com/authors/alister-mcgrath/1320

                          Alister McGrath is Andreas Idreos Professor of Science and Religion of the University of Oxford. In addition, he is Senior Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College at Oxford and President of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

                          The comments about book royalties are from an executive at Harper One, who hold current publication rights in this context and might be thought to be a reliable source. You may, of course, feel this is not the case and have every right to do so :-).

                  2. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                    >This is far from the normal biographical accounts

                    Perhaps you should read some before commenting.

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                      When a man gets past his teen years and has been up close with a few naked ladies and experienced real life intimacy as a normal part of life, then pictures of nakedness really don't have the same appeal that they do to inexperienced youths.

                      I'd much rather see elegantly dressed ladies as a pleasing aesthetic. Let's face it, some anatomical features are not necessarily pretty.

              2. Spanker

                Re: As C.S. Lewis said...

                Upvoted for ‘Gamine Waifs’

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            Nudity per se soon becomes normal and boring.

            Quite agree. Visit a nudist camp for longer than a day or two and it's rather boring. Clothing sparks the mind and imagination of what is unseen. Lack of clothing removes all the pretense as once it's out there, it's no big deal.

            1. tiggity Silver badge

              Surely that depends on an individuals libido?

              I'm sure for some that after a few days it will still definitely not be boring

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Photos of naked people on the internet do as much to satisfy the libido as the online McDonalds menu does for hunger.

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  LOL, sad sacks. Get a real partner.

          3. Tigra 07 Silver badge
            Trollface

            RE: AC

            "Presumably there's some good Catholic boys working on this, and they've got a cast iron excuse for looking at endless pictures of nudes"

            Uh oh, bathroom break! How many is that this morning...16? Little Timmy is getting a lot of hand blisters from his keyboard too!

  3. Androgynous Cow Herd

    No one has ever been killed by a nipple

    free the hostages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

      >No one has ever been killed by a nipple

      That sounds like a challenge I could enjoy trying to prove or disprove!!

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

        "That sounds like a challenge I could enjoy trying to prove or disprove!!"

        You'll dive into a mosh pit with razor sharp pasties, and see what sort of damage you can do?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

      What about snoo snoo?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

        Wasn't that kinda Letha Weapons' whole thing?

    3. smudge Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

      You've never heard of Chesty Morgan, and her two... films :) ?

    4. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

      But many have nearly lost an eye -particularly when cold...

    5. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: No one has ever been killed by a nipple

      They're breasts. They need air.

  4. onefang Silver badge

    Looking at those examples, might be more productive to automate the application of that censor blur instead of faking bikinis.

    I guess naked men are not a problem. Or the naked children you see on prime time TV adverts for baby shampoo. Or naked baby Jesus in Mother Mary's arms. I was walking to the supermarket the other day and a saw naked ten year old wander past on a busy street. No one batted an eyelid. Probably would have been police called if it was her mother that was naked. Front page of a popular news web site was showing a "photos of the week" teaser, that featured a naked child in an empty tub, right next to an "evil pedo caught with evil pedo photos" article teaser.

    Would be even more productive if we just all got over this silly nudity taboo. Even sillier that it's a sexist and ageist taboo. Women nipples bad, men and child nipples good. Meh, I'd rather look at women's nipples given a choice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Women nipples bad, men and child nipples good."

      In the 1976 heatwave an Oxford cafe banned shirtless men. The woman who owned it said that as she wasn't allowed to keep cool by going topless - then it was a fair restriction for men too.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Would be even more productive if we just all got over this silly nudity taboo."

    The porn industry profits handsomely from it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      there is porn and there is nudity

      you can be fully clothed and as erotic as <insert favourite kink here>, you can be fully nude and be as erotic as road kill

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        The difference is urns. If there is an urn in the painting the nudity is OK

        1. graeme leggett

          They just need to add urns not bikinis to the pictures then?

          Won't take much would it, buy an urn digitise and insert; how much is a Grecian urn?

          1. xenny

            Do I detect a reference to the tape that came with the BBC?

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge
            Coat

            how much is a Grecian urn?

            Tempting to respond with the old joke about drachmas but I'll refrain. Icon for obvious reasons.

          3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            how much is a Grecian urn?

            It would depend on the antiquity, provenance and degree of artistry

            - and whether the Germans have imposed more austerity

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I'll admit that you've made me want to research this.

              Does photoshopping an urn into a porn image make fewer people consider it to be porn?

              Who should I submit this question to for funding?

          4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            "Won't take much would it, buy an urn digitise and insert; how much is a Grecian urn?"

            No one knows, they rarely declare it to the tax man.

        2. Stevie Silver badge

          If there is an urn in the painting the nudity is OK

          Depends what the nude is doing with the urn. I've seen a couple of paintings involving nudes and urns that would still be banned as filth in many countries (but if anecdotal hearsay is correct might be of interest to a certain very powerful individual).

          And I'm betting even the greatest Olde Masters had a notebook of sketches including such concepts as "Ye Two Younge Nymphes and Butte One Amphora".

      2. earl grey Silver badge
        Trollface

        "be as erotic as road kill"

        Pah, i got that one covered even when i'm covered.

  6. myxiplx2

    Genius

    Looking at the comments I see a lot of "wasted education", and "why do this", and "boo, censorship" type remarks.

    Which to me rather misses the utterly ingenious nature of this project.

    A bunch of lads in their late teens & early twenties in a *Catholic* Uni have found not only an officially approved reason for downloading over 2,000 nudes, but they actually got it to count towards their grades too!

    Genius, bloody genius. Those lads will go far!

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Genius

      Those lads will go far!

      Well, since the addition of fake clothes seems to wholly preserve - perhaps even enhance - the objectification of the women in the original photographs while at the same time apparently making the images of objectification acceptable to a much wider religious audience, they've certainly got secure futures in the Church.

  7. NanoMeter

    That's just hilarious.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How about a real AI program

    One that teaches people to have a grown up attitude towards nudity and not base its entire attitude on a few lines in a copper age creation myth which is really about the transition from hunter gatherer to farmer?

  9. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

    The comments above boil to these points:

    - Catholic priests have their image of Jesus nailed to a cross. Bad Catholics!

    - Nudity (esp. child nudity) is everywhere. Bad children!

    - Nudity in ads. Bad adults!

    In my opinion, this piece research *is* important, very important in fact. But a whole "reform" of society is needed first!

    The solution to this problem should be a contol of the amount of nudity bypassers (children) are exposed to (Looking at you media!) - that's why we've got future pedos.

    Fuck money. Can't we for once not care about profit at the expense of our children?

    But is that too realistic perhaps?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The solution to this problem should be a contol of the amount of nudity bypassers (children) are exposed to [...]

      It is commonly the various religions' indoctrinated prurience that sexualises societies' perception of nudity.

      Naturists' children grow up seeing social nudity as a normal part of life. They have no misapprehensions about what bodies look like in all shapes and sizes - with no photoshopping to distort their self-image. People with scars or amputations do not feel excluded.

      As children enter puberty they are already aware of how their friends and acquaintances changed through those stages. Naked teenagers socialise without becoming sex fiends.

      The children do learn by experience that many non-naturists, especially of some religions, have an irrational fear and hatred of nudity. The latter often impose controls on others in order to hide/suppress their own darkest desires.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "that's why we've got future pedos."

      I really want your citation for any proper piece of research that shows any relation whatsoever between nudity in the media and paedophilia.

      Anecdotally, among countries with a great deal of censorship are Apartheid South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Among others with much less are Germany, France, Croatia and Slovenia. As I say, I await your citation with great interest.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "that's why we've got future pedos."

        "Anecdotally, [...]"

        A friend who included theology and linguistics in his polymath studies made an interesting observation about Abrahamic religions in some countries.

        The biblical proscription of homosexuality is "man with man". There is a long tradition*** of defining a "man" as a male who can grow a strong beard. This allows the sophistry that a "boy" by that definition is not a "man" - and therefore not included in the proscription.

        ***Some of the ancient Greek states did not keep a precise track of birthdays. They effectively had a panel to judge that a boy was now mature enough to take on the state responsibilities of a man. Some of the forces in the current Syrian conflict apparently used the "beard" test when selecting teenage volunteers to join front-line troops.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: "that's why we've got future pedos."

          "The biblical proscription of homosexuality is "man with man". There is a long tradition*** of defining a "man" as a male who can grow a strong beard. This allows the sophistry that a "boy" by that definition is not a "man" - and therefore not included in the proscription."

          Another gem of sophistry: if the commandment says "thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife", then it does not forbid lusting after the neighbour himself.

      2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Re: "that's why we've got future pedos."

        I really want your citation for any proper piece of research that shows any relation whatsoever between nudity in the media and paedophilia.

        I remember having read that particular bit somewhere, but as I dug Google for the reference, I couldn't find any.

        However, I found this:

        It’s easy to assume that pedophilia is always the result of some early sexualization or abuse, and certainly there seems to be a connection in some cases. (emphasis mine)

        The point I was making is that it's society's collective approach (including that of traditional religion as well as "early sexualization by media") is what's screwing up our children (not given a choice nor responsibly informed about sex).

        And as to the point about "religions doing it wrong", I believe that complete hiding, blocking of all impulses gives the opposite of the desired effect.

        But frankly, I don't agree with "the naturists". Complete, unregulated exposure only creates problems! In this case, it's random relationships, AIDS and all (in my opinion, subject to revision!)

        Children should be educated responsibly about sex, not blocked away totally from it, nor have it thrown upon them!

        1. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: "that's why we've got future pedos."

          @Waseem - I think you are confusing the term sexualization here. In the context you are quoting it's clearly about the experiences of the individual, so treating something that is normal physical affection for a child (hugs, kisses etc) as being of a sexual nature.

          There is also a wide gap between what is technically pedophilia (attraction to a pre-pubescent) and what is often labeled as such, which is often attraction to post pubescent underage people. People who want to fuck kids are sick, and (as noted in your quote) have often been abused at a young age. People who want to fuck teenagers are generally fairly normal, although actually doing so is (even if legal) fraught with power issues, so generally decent folk don't.

          Healthy well fed humans reach sexual maturity aged 11-13, and emotional maturity at ~25. Exactly how we deal with the inbetween stage is always going to be tricky.

          "But frankly, I don't agree with "the naturists". Complete, unregulated exposure only creates problems! In this case, it's random relationships, AIDS and all (in my opinion, subject to revision!)"

          Nudity and sex have nothing to do with each other. That's entirely a social connection, that we've been taught about. I've been nude with people for a variety of things that are most certainly not sexual. In fact most saunas/spas with nude areas will kick you out if you start doing anything sexual, including staring.

          Same deal for nudist beaches and naturism in general. Public nudity is fine, public sex isn't.

          If a society insists on maximal coverage of the body, that results in the fetishisation of nudity. Not the other way around.

          It doesn't help that certain groups like to claim that they essentially lack any self control, and thus everyone else must dress in a fashion that doesn't "tempt" them.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "that's why we've got future pedos."

        "Anecdotally, among countries with a great deal of censorship are Apartheid South Africa, [...]"

        In about 1972 the South African Post Office had to withdraw the new telephone directory for an area near Cape Town. The problem was a Kodak advert with a picture showing a young lady sitting on a couch - talking on her phone. She was wearing an extremely conservative two piece bathing suit - hardly rating as a bikini. That was what caused the religious/conservative protest.

        That and more were satirised in the Cape Times newspaper by David Marais. His anthology of 1972 cartoons was titled "All The Nudes That's Fit To Print". NSFW? The cover is one of a series of cartoons referring to the police raids on naturists at Sandy Bay in the Cape.

        Amusingly at that time the women on the beach in Durban had bikinis that were hardly more than a few pieces of string.

        Apparently in that era some towns in the Transvaal still enforced bye-laws mandating that men and women had to be at least 18" (0.5m) apart in the public swimming pools. There was a publicised case of pool officials insisting that an 18 month old toddler must wear a swimsuit.

        The Jo'burg Star newspaper gleefully quoted a clergyman of the state NGK religion - who had apparently said "If God had intended us to walk about without any clothes - we would have been born naked".

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Before the white man arrived in Africa and various Pacific island cultures, clothing was pretty much unknown as was sexual attacks (separate those from war conquests). Only after the white man came (read as "missionaries) and insisted on "proper clothing" did sex crimes really start among those populations.

      The best way to "protect" children is to expose them to many things at the appropriate times otherwise they end up as "snowflakes" and attempt to eat the forbidden fruit before they're ready to handle it. (Sorry for the mixed metaphor but appropriate methinks).

      1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

        Before the white man arrived in Africa and various Pacific island cultures, clothing was pretty much unknown

        I beg to differ: at least the Ancient Egyptians knew clothing that spanned the length of the body.

        However, sexual promiscuity arrived in North Africa via the Western conquests

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "at least the Ancient Egyptians knew clothing that spanned the length of the body."

          As in most cultures - in Ancient Egypt clothing was a signal of rank as well as offering some protection from the environment. Most men and women wore only a loincloth. Slaves were usually naked.

          An anthropologist entered an Amazonian village unexpectedly. The totally naked headman hurried away to his hut. He then returned to formally greet the visitor - and was now wearing a thin belt round his waist. That was to show his official status - and did not cover his genitalia.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "However, sexual promiscuity arrived in North Africa via the Western conquests"

          A definition of "promiscuity" will depend on the local laws governing relationships. In cultures where property is inherited by the first born son then it is considered important to keep women isolated from other men.

          The Ottoman Empire ruled over much of North Africa for at least 500 years until about 1919. Polygamy, concubines, and large harems were standard practices that the West would have considered promiscuous behaviour.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      future pedos

      I just hope they don't invent time travel then we're all f*cked.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    not well positioned to cover up enough skin

    that, my dear, dependes entirely on your position. And my position!

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    progress:

    when you come across de-nakened babes on the internet and your mates come up with a nifty script to bring the babes back to their natural state. No point to head straight for your fav porn site, scripting is for lolz!

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the early 1970s the prurient News of the World newspaper published a front page picture of two women "streaking" across Westminster Bridge - with the houses of Parliament in the background. Only a rear view of the naked young women was shown.

    The News of the World also published an international edition - edited and on lightweight paper for airmail. The picture was still on the front page - but had been modified to show fashionable brief panties partly covering their buttocks - and bra straps across their shoulders.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    waiting for the :) de-Burka photo's thats going to be a intresting tool

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "waiting for the :) de-Burka photo's thats going to be a intresting tool"

      A possibly apocryphal tale about North Africa. A man's wife comes into the hotel bedroom naked from her shower. She suddenly realises that one of his male friends is now in the room. She immediately obeys the religious proscription about covering herself in such a situation - she covers her face with both hands.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        But also the old saw concerning the gentleman, naked with a group of his friends in a changing room into which walked a woman. When asked by his wife to explain why he had covered his face and not, as all the others had, his genitalia, he pointed out that he knew how he was recognised around town...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Neil Barnes

          The one I liked was about the club which had a ladies room (as they did in those days). One day two men streaked through it, naked but for stocking masks.

          One woman remarked "Surely they are not gentlemen?"

          "Not only that," another replied, "I don't think one of them is a member of this club."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @Neil Barnes

            ""Not only that," another replied, "I don't think one of them is a member of this club."

            One of the subplots of Leslie Thomas's novel "Tropic of Ruislip" was the golf course flasher***. Escaping from a chasing posse one day he was given refuge by a woman sculptor - who then immortalised him anonymously in stone.

            ***there was a throwaway line about whether he was a club member. The affirmative answer given by the head ground-keeper hinged on the fact that he had run round a green - whereas the pursuing policemen had charged directly across it..

          2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

            @Voyna i Mor

            Three women walk on a road. They see a drunk man without his pants sleeping on the roadside, face hidden in the grass, but tender parts well visible.

            "That's not my husband." sighs one of the ladies with relief.

            "Yes, that's not your husband." concurs the other.

            "He's not from this town at all!" exclaims the third lady.

  14. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    How about

    Training the AI to spot paedophile priests?

    1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      Re: How about

      "Training the AI to spot paedophile priests?"

      that's the easy one..... the hard one is getting AI to spot the non paedophile priests.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

        Replying to "that's the easy one..... the hard one is getting AI to spot the non paedophile priests."

        According to the John Jay report (The Nature and Scope of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States 1950–2002), four percent of clerics were accused of sexual offences against children. Of the victims, eighty percent were male. Of this group, 77 percent were over the age of eleven.

        From https://doi.org/10.1179/002436311803888276:

        "The John Jay report findings led some to conclude that the problem was not classic pedophilia, but homosexual acts by priests with adolescent boys."

        So you have very few priests being accused (compared to the popular stereotype), and of these, most are not pedophiles but opportunistic homosexuals.

        Add a clique of powerful homosexuals helping to cover all of this up and you have a pretty unpleasant picture.

        If one positive thing can be said, it seems that most of the cases coming to light are historical ones, from which one might possibly conclude that the Church has been somewhat successful in vetting those that enter the vocation. One can only hope.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

          "[...] and of these, most are not pedophiles but opportunistic homosexuals."

          That is a conclusion too far - the report quote is "homosexual acts".

          Apparently heterosexual males - especially if in enforced celibacy - will often choose glabrous teenage boys as an accessible substitute for women.

          In their own reasoning it is not homosexuality - as long as only they do the penetration in any orifice.

          Even anal intercourse is not exclusively homosexual - and not all gays do it. Many societies use it with women as a contraceptive method - or for a tighter sensation after the woman has had several children. Many millennials think it normal heterosexual practice - just another variant on the possible positions.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

            You make some fair points.

            But why, according to the article, is ~80% of child molestation by priests committed against boys, while in the broader community girls are the most frequent victims? (I will need to get a reference for that.)

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

              "But why, according to the article, is ~80% of child molestation by priests committed against boys, [...]"

              Historically boys were under the control of priests as altar boys, choirboys, or pupils at boys-only schools. Older boys were at seminaries or otherwise being inculcated to become priests themselves.

              Girls were not so available to priests. Many of the physical/mental abuses of girls were by nuns in schools etc.

            2. Clarecats

              Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

              "You make some fair points.

              But why, according to the article, is ~80% of child molestation by priests committed against boys, while in the broader community girls are the most frequent victims? "

              Because nuns were in charge of girls and women, so they worked them to death in the case of unmarried mothers. Nuns had no power in the church, so they exercised their power on those less fortunate who were in their control. Priests did not live alongside nuns as that would be potentially indecent. The priest would call to say mass and hear confessions.

              Priests and brothers were in charge of boys. Generally there were no nuns on the premises, because that would be potentially indecent.

        2. Tannin

          Re: Please drop the pedophile priest stereotype

          Clueless about this topic, aren't you. Or possibly just gaslighting. If you actually don't believe that there are and have been massive numbers of abuses of little girls and boys by the priesthood, try looking at the evidence. The findings of the recently concluded Royal Commission in Australia - https://www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/ - are truly horrifying.

          As for your report, it was commissioned by the church itself. What a bloody joke. Headine conclusion: "PAEDO CHURCH REPORTS THAT CHURCH'S PRIESTS NOT PAEDOS". Gosh! Who would have guessed?

  15. JimC Silver badge

    I look forward with interest to seeing the work of their opposite numbers in Teheran...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where can I get

    A copy of this to install on my phone, to block dodgy pictures from eejits on social networks that insist on bombarding me with endless "personal" shots. FFS.

    Extra bonus points if it uses the phone's CPU to do the processing, and as a side effect blocks annoying unblockable video and sound advertispamming that uses up my expensive 4G credit.

    1. DuncanLarge Bronze badge

      Re: Where can I get

      It already exists. Its called the unfreind option.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Where can I get

        It already exists. Its called the unfreind option.

        The close and delete account option works best of all in my experience.

  17. herman Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Antiparis

    The obvious next step is to generate nude pictures and porn videos on demand, without using human actors at all.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Antiparis

      We're working on it. There's a community called Renderotica, for example, but it's still too much a human-designed affair. Shame.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: but it's still too much a human-designed affair

        Azathoth's nebular nodes, the contemplation of what a self-aware A.I. would consider extreme porn is making me fail repeated SAN checks.

        It might, for example, involve visualizations of complex and obscurely perverse topological evolutions.

        Or strange manipulations of Quantum Mechanics involving fiddling with binding energies and extinction coefficients.

        Iä!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Antiparis

      I've no doubt that would be possible, given that we've had rendered porn since the 1990s, and it would just be a question of creating an automated script with a few (quite likely formulaic) parameters.

      The real problem is with getting that rendered porn to *not* look artificial and creepy rather than erotic (IMHO). There's always that uncanny valley corpse-like creepiness and dead-eyed lack of response and natural human behaviour.

      Then again, you could say that about a lot of (real) mainstream porn with its lifeless, mechanical in-and-out shots. And as for the uncanny valley thing, it's probably just as likely that millennials and Gen-Zers will have grown up with- and become fixated on- plastic skinned, computer rendered porn and it simply won't matter.

      But again, mainstream porn with the increasingly fake "porn star" look got there already, and a lot of people who grew up with that in the 90s/2000s seem to like that. (Ironically, the trend is apparently away from this as amateur porn decimates the professionally-produced stuff. I say "apparently" because I long-hated that mainstream crap and already avoided it... can't say I'm sorry to see it go).

      tl;dr - We've had fake porn for years, even the "real" porn looked fake.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can they reverse the process?

    Just asking...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Can they reverse the process?

      My thought, too. Forget covering up nudes. Let's see AI nudify someone decent.

    2. Brangdon

      Re: Can they reverse the process?

      Yes, they can. It's mentioned in the article.

  19. PeterGriffin

    Are they proposing to MITM all traffic to enforce censorship? That would be the only way to alter content transmitted using HTTPS. Then there's proxies and VPNs to bypass the censor. It seems like a lot of effort had been expended for something easily bypassed?

    1. pɹɐʍoɔ snoɯʎuouɐ

      It seems like a lot of effort had been expended for something easily bypassed?

      you are missing the point entirely....

      see the post from myxiplx2 "genius" further up the page......

  20. d3vy

    This sounds suspiciously like someone got caught looking at nekkid ladies at work and had to think of a way to make it work related pretty quick.

  21. DougS Silver badge

    Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

    https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/krishrach/a-woman-in-this-ad-was-censored-by-being-photoshopped-into

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

      They also clothed the males and children of both sexes. A bit bizarre....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

        "They also clothed the males and children of both sexes. "

        It is not unusual in town (England) to see girls of about 6 years old who are wearing a hibab and full length leg coverings like their mothers. Rickets due to a deficiency in Vitamin "D" are a risk from such clothing styles in the English climate.

        It is only recently that many boys in England were wearing full length leggings when playing football. For swimming they still have a long way to go to get back to the sensible Speedo briefs of the 1970/80s.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

          "It is only recently that many boys in England were wearing full length leggings when playing football. For swimming they still have a long way to go to get back to the sensible Speedo briefs of the 1970/80s."

          The trend amongst younger children these days seems to be the all body swimming suits of the Edwardian era, probably due to parental fear of the intense UV radiation that seems to permeate our indoor swimming pools these days.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

            I thought it was hydrodynamic considerations. Body hair and all.

            1. DougS Silver badge

              Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

              Yes, that's why they wear the long suits in competition, apparently they are faster even in a clean shaven body. It isn't going to matter much for kids, but that's what they see higher level competitors wearing. Just like they imitate the heroes of any other sport.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                "[...] that's why they wear the long suits in competition, apparently they are faster even in a clean shaven body.

                One type of long suit was banned from competition as its hydrodynamics were just too good. The East Germans campaigned for many years for international competition swimmers to be allowed to swim naked.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                "It isn't going to matter much for kids, but that's what they see higher level competitors wearing."

                I doubt my neighbours' sons have ever seen competition swimming. They wear what their mother buys for them.

                By that reasoning it would be expected that there would have been a surge in popularity for Speedo briefs after all the TV coverage of diving - including the "Splash" reality TV programme. Was there?

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                  For swimming they still have a long way to go to get back to the sensible Speedo briefs of the 1970/80s

                  Please no. Have some pride. These are normally only worn by elderly gut-overhanging people who have no consideration for the aesthetics of the beautiful beach scenery they are destroying.

                  The reason they went out of fashion was the little bit of sick that they induced in the unfortunate observer.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                    " These are normally only worn by elderly gut-overhanging people [...]"

                    No swimming costume short of a whalebone corset will conceal such overhangs.

                    Nowadays obesity seems to set in at an early age in the UK. Many elderly men have a figure that is much slimmer than younger ones - the habit of a lifetime.

                    Speedo briefs went out of fashion in the UK because the USA long-shorts fashion covered a "moral panic" about young male bodies. Other European countries were largely unaffected.

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                      The fact that young people are obese is neither here nor there, it's the elderly folk who still insist on the speedos.

                      And "Other European countries largely unaffected" ? Really? On any Med or Portugal beach I've been on in the last few year, Speedo type swimwear are almost non-existent - have been abandoned not because of "moral panic" but because of people not wanting to look like dorks.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                        "[...] but because of people not wanting to look like dorks."

                        Aesthetics are subjective. Personally I can't understand why males in modern "shorts" flounder round in the water trying to overcome the effects of the large buoyancy bags formed round their thighs.

                        1. werdsmith Silver badge

                          Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                          Aesthetics are subjective. Personally I can't understand why males in modern "shorts" flounder round in the water trying to overcome the effects of the large buoyancy bags formed round their thighs.

                          If they flounder then they are probably not very good at swimming (although the flounder fish is probably damn good at it).

                          If they are not very good at swimming then changing to a pair of old man knickers is not going to help much.

                          1. graeme leggett

                            Re: Or turn a woman in a bikini into a beach ball

                            If I remember a flounder is a flatfish and doesn't do that much swimming.

                            Though once when diving a long long while ago, I found a very small flatfish and it did an impressive job of swimming upside down to stay against the protection of my glove.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old is new again

    As the church declines its remaining members concentrate into a stronger, more acidic, version of their past selves.

    More bigoted, more censorious, more demented.

    Beware the not so comfy chair!

  23. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

    I assume

    They don't teach biology, art, medicine, etc.

  24. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Not the first time the catholic church has got in a flap

    Tissue is required, and must contain letters.

  25. scrubber

    Training program

    Is the reverse process breaking revenge porn laws?

  26. Lusty

    I'm confused

    What does this achieve? All they've done is show how laughably easy it is to get pictures of women without bikinis on*. From experience I know that it's even easier to get pictures of women with bikinis on, so why bother burning CPU cycles for this? If people want either kind of picture they will just go and get them, all we have here is something that creates twice as many images as there used to be (three times looking at the sample!) thus making it even easier to find pictures of women. Producing more porn, however soft, is not a solution to porn. I'm ignoring the fact that porn doesn't even need a solution, right now these people don't even understand how pointless their approach is.

    *interestingly, this shows how poor Google are at AI and ML. Type "women without bikinis on" into their search engine and it gives you nothing but women with bikinis on (safesearch was off).

    Even more interesting is that for a laugh I asked Bing the same question, given its reputation for finding nothing useful. After turning off the safe search which gave me a warning Bing happily showed me a massive page full of boobs and more. I may have to give Bing one more shot ;)

  27. Scott 53

    What a relief

    Male nudity is obviously not a problem for Catholics (surprise!). This will make Sunday's service much more comfortable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a relief

      According to their art - men have to wear a fig leaf or a loincloth or a long dress. Failing that you have to position a handy leafy branch just so.

    2. Clarecats
      Childcatcher

      Re: What a relief

      "Male nudity is obviously not a problem for Catholics (surprise!). This will make Sunday's service much more comfortable."

      I have seen a classical painting print on the wall in a girls' school in which the nuns (presumably) had charcoaled briefs over the men.

      No such prints of partly clothed women were on display.

  28. Geekpride

    Astonishingly enough, some people go to the beach and swim simply for fun. Yes, swimming shorts aren't the best for swimming in, but they have other advantages. It's socially acceptable to walk through busy areas & shops in shorts, not so much in Speedos. Shorts also tend to have pockets, useful for hanging on to anything that doesn't mind immersion in salt water - coins, keys etc.

    1. onefang Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      "It's socially acceptable to walk through busy areas & shops in shorts, not so much in Speedos."

      Our previous Prime Minister made budgie smugglers* socially acceptable for the conservative crowd.

      * For those that don't spik 'strain, "budgie smugglers" is Australian slang for Speedos, which in turn is an Australian brand of very skimpy swim pants for men. Why we call them budgie smugglers is left as an exercise for those imaginations that choose to imagine the smuggling of small birds in your briefs.

      Paris, coz it looks like she's checking out Mr Abbott's budgie.

      1. Clarecats

        Budgie smugglers

        "For those that don't spik 'strain, "budgie smugglers" is Australian slang for Speedos, which in turn is an Australian brand of very skimpy swim pants for men."

        According to an episode of Friends, an American alternative is banana hammock.

  29. david 12 Bronze badge

    Crime opportunity

    Editing a existing picture to make it appear nude is already criminal in some jurisdictions. Doing it to a picture of a child would be even more criminal, in even more places.

    Owning the software to do the criminal manipulation would also be deeply suss in some courts.

    No wonder they claim that was only an "accidental side effect".

    1. onefang Silver badge

      Re: Crime opportunity

      "Owning the software to do the criminal manipulation would also be deeply suss in some courts."

      That would be things like Photoshop and GIMP. I've removed tattoos from photos for friends using GIMP, and done other fancy things with it. I could probably add / remove clothes if I tried. With a bit of effort you could use simple paint programs for that, and with a lot of effort a hex editor. Magnets, magnifying glasses and butterflies for the show-offs.

  30. Matthew Taylor

    Of course... but maybe

    Sounds like one of Louis CK's "Of course but maybe" bits.

    Of COURSE we throw away the reverse model that removes the bikinis from the women - it has to be deleted, the hard drive set on fire, and all copies hunted down and destroyed, to preserve the sanctity of the female body outside the confines of marriage. Of course... of course.

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