MP Maria Miller wants AI ‘nudifying’ tool banned

MP Maria Miller wants AI ‘nudifying’ tool banned

MP Maria Miller wants a parliamentary debate on whether digitally generated nude images need to be banned.

It comes as another service which allows users to undress women in photos, using Artificial intelligence (AI), spreads rapidly on social media.

The website in question had more than five million visits in June alone, according to one analyst.

Celebrities, including an Olympic athlete, are among those who users claim to have nudified.

DeepSukebe’s website promises users it can “reveal the truth hidden under clothes”. Launched in 2020, it is unclear who is behind it. The BBC has contacted the company for comment, but received no reply.

According to its Twitter page, it is an “AI-leveraged nudifier” whose mission is to “make all men’s dreams come true”.

And in a blog post, the developers say that they are working on a more powerful version of the tool.

Serious crime

Ms Miller told the BBC it was time to consider a ban of such tools.

“Parliament needs to have the opportunity to debate whether nude and sexually explicit images generated digitally without consent should be outlawed, and I believe if this were to happen the law would change.”

She said that it should be an offence to distribute sexual images online without consent to reflect “the severity of the impact on people’s lives”.

“If software providers develop this technology, they are complicit in a very serious crime and should be required to design their products to stop this happening.”

She has been campaigning about so-called revenge porn – when nude or sexually explicit images are distributed without consent – for the last six years.

“At the moment, making, taking or distributing without consent intimate sexual images online or through digital technology falls mostly outside of the law.

“It should be a sexual offence to distribute sexual images online without consent, reflecting the severity of the impact on people’s lives.”

She wants the issue to be included in the forthcoming Online Safety Bill.

Campaign group Cease (Centre To End All Sexual Exploitation) told the BBC it also believed nudification tools needed to be tackled in the Bill.

“The law is not adequate in this area,” said chief executive Vanessa Morse.

“Technology which is designed to objectify and humiliate women should be shut down, and porn sites which profit from mass distribution of these images must be forced to proactively block their upload,” she said.

She added the fact that the onus is currently on victims “often traumatised and humiliated” to have such images removed from the internet was simply not fair.

Nudifier tools, as they are known, are not new.

DeepNude was launched in 2019, but the creators quickly withdrew the service and offered refunds, following a backlash.

image captionCurrently nudification tools only work for creating naked women – something one developer acknowledged was sexist

They acknowledged the probability people would misuse it was “very high”, adding that the world was not ready for such a controversial tool.

‘Not ethical’

But similar services remain on the market, many using the DeepNude source code, which was made publicly available by the original developers.

While many often produce clumsy, sometimes laughable results, the new website uses a proprietary algorithm which one analyst described as “putting it years ahead of the competition”.

The BBC spoke to a developer behind one of the many nudification tools available online.

Ivan Bravo acknowledged that such creations “are not ethical, mainly in the way it is currently used and the way the original developers started advertising it as ‘nude your friends'”.

“However, we don’t live in a perfect world and people have always been looking for ways to do this, so it was only a matter of time before such a technology came into existence.”

He added that the fact the technology was only currently able to nudify women was sexist.

“Personally I would also like to have a version for nude men and even fictional characters like anime, so that all people can enjoy or experiment with this kind of adult entertainment.

“The goal is to find what kind of uses we can give to this technology within the legal and ethical .

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