In what can only be described as a stroke of casting genius-luck, Nubiles’ fauxcest line Step Siblings Caught recently featured Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot in a scene.
There is a video of Gadot in a Step Siblings Caught scene currently circulating cyberspace, but it’s not really her. The video in question features what can best be described as an approximation of Gadot’s face swapped in to look like she’s performing in an existing bit of porn.
According to VICE, the video was created with a machine learning algorithm, using easily accessible materials and open-source code that anyone with a working knowledge of deep learning algorithms could put together. In this case, the swap video is allegedly the work of one person – a Redditor who goes by the name “deepfakes.” deepfakes used open-source machine learning tools like TensorFlow, which Google makes freely available to researchers, graduate students and anyone else with an interest in machine learning.
VICE corresponded with deepfakes, who reported that the software used to make the Gadot-Nubiles content is based on multiple open-source libraries, like Keras with TensorFlow. To compile the facial features, deepfakes said they used Google image search, stock photos and YouTube videos. The rest was just a matter of “training” an algorithm.
VICE is a bit alarmist about deepfakes’ deep fake. The title of their doomsday report is “AI-Assisted Fake Porn Is Here and We’re All Fucked,” and they wrote that “[T]his new type of fake porn shows that we’re on the verge of living in a world where it’s trivially easy to fabricate believable videos of people doing and saying things they never did.”
Okay sure… but celebrity sex fakes have been around since the internet’s inception – hell, even before that via fan art in myriad media forms. One could argue that this sort of face swapping is simply the next evolution of technology-enabled erotic fanboy joy. deepfakes may even be an uber fan of strong women actors, having already posted videos featuring the faces of Scarlett Johansson, Maisie Williams, Aubrey Plaza and more.
VICE raised issues of celebrity consent, which are important, but not nearly as stinging as the complete glossing over of the bodies featured in deepfakes’ swap videos. Among other comments to VICE, comedian and former performer Alia Janine said the video “shows a complete lack of respect for the porn performers in the movie.”
This comment called in to sharp relief the fact that nowhere in the VICE article was Nubiles mentioned, much less the name of their line. Aside from Janine’s comment, the performer whose face was swapped out was also not mentioned, much less named.
So, what can porn do about this?
“Sendvid seems like a typical filesharing site, a file locker — an online storage platform where only you can view your uploads or others if you give them the specific URL,” Glass said.
When I expressed annoyance that I could not view the Gadot swap in its fully hosted form, Glass explained that, “sites like this keep their inventory private otherwise people like me would wipe out the pirated contents. Not to say this site is strictly piracy. In essence, it’s no different than Dropbox in many respects.”
If sendvid is a legitimate site with legitimate uses, then all Nubiles would have to do is have the content taken down. Interestingly, had Nubiles been mentioned in the article, this could have been a good opportunity to highlight issues around content consumption and ownership. This form of face-swapped content also marks another space where machines may possibly replace humans. With these types of capabilities, it will no longer be necessary to hire an actual performer for, for instance, a tongue-in-cheek celebrity impersonation clip — like Mercedes Carrera, who impersonated Kim Kardashian in Vivid’s VR experience.
Not surprisingly though, the alarmist mainstream doesn’t seem to have a grasp on these aspects of the issue.