An app that claimed to be able to digitally remove clothes from women’s pictures has been taken down by its creators due to extreme criticism across the internet, reported CNN.
The website, called Deepnude.com, began selling a $50 Windows and Linux application last week that could supposedly take any photo of a woman wearing clothes and, using artificial intelligence, remove the clothes and present a realistic-looking nude image of her. While the resulting nudes weren’t technically real, they could easily be mistaken as such. The creator of the technology dubbed it as an “entertainment app.”
On Friday, the creator of the app declared that it was going to be removed on the developers’ Twitter page.
“The probability that people will misuse it is too high. We don’t want to make money this way.”
The announcement came just two days after Vice issued a critical review of the app, in which the author wrote that the tool could easily be used against women to experiment with and even publish nudes of a woman without her consent, resulting in the malicious spread of fake porn on the internet.
Katelyn Bowden, founder and CEO of revenge porn activism organization Badass, talked to the publication about her fears when it came to the app.
New: an app that uses neural networks to remove clothing from the images of women making them look realistically nude. The $50 app, called DeepNude, "dispenses with the idea that deepfakes were about anything besides claiming ownership over women’s bodies" https://t.co/vKOA3HAJPR
— Joseph Cox (@josephfcox) June 27, 2019
“This is absolutely terrifying. Now anyone could find themselves a victim of revenge porn, without ever having taken a nude photo. This tech should not be available to the public.”
Danielle Citron, professor of law at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, shared in Bowden’s concerns, claiming that the app was an “invasion of sexual privacy.” She added that while the resulting nude image may not be the real deal, victims of those spreading fake nudes around the internet have felt as if people are actually seeing their nude body, with some even commenting that their body no longer felt as if it were theirs.
— deepnudeapp (@deepnudeapp) June 27, 2019
The man who originally conceived of and created the app, whose identity remains unknown, explained his motivations behind the app, claiming that he wasn’t a voyeur, but instead a technology enthusiast who has always been fascinated by x-ray technology.
“About two years ago I discovered the potential of AI and started studying the basics. I realized that it would be possible to transform a dressed photo into a nude one. Eureka. I realized that x-ray glasses are possible! Driven by fun and enthusiasm for that discovery, I did my first tests, obtaining interesting results.”