Deepfakes and AI: Dozens of fake photos of Taylor Swift flood the web

In recent days, social media has been inundated with AI-generated images ranging from sexy to pornographic. And now, the issue has taken on a political dimension.

Taylor Swift has had a challenging week. In recent days, explicit photos purportedly featuring her have gone viral on X. However, these images are fake, deepfakes created using artificial intelligence. Now, this issue is making waves in the realm of politics.

SAG-AFTRA (the U.S. union representing approximately 170,000 workers in the media and entertainment industry) has condemned the images, labeling the content “disturbing, harmful, and deeply concerning” in a statement released on Friday.

The development and dissemination of fake images – especially those of an obscene nature – without someone’s consent must be made illegal,” declared the union, also urging support for Congressman Joe Morelle’s Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act. “As a society, we have the power to control these technologies, but we must act now before it’s too late. We stand behind Taylor and women worldwide who are victims of this kind of invasion of their privacy and autonomy.

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The images have sparked a significant online and Capitol Hill debate about the need for increased protections against artificial intelligence and content moderation. One tweet featuring an explicit AI-generated image of the pop star remained on the platform for approximately 17 hours, amassing 45 million views before being permanently removed.

Responding to the incident during a Friday press conference, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre described the images as “alarming.” Jean-Pierre called on social media companies to more rigorously enforce content moderation policies and asserted that Congress should take action to pass protective legislation.

We are alarmed by the news of the circulating images you presented, false images to be more precise,” said Jean-Pierre. “While social media companies make independent decisions about content management, we believe they have a crucial role to play in enforcing their own rules to prevent the spread of misinformation. Of course, Congress should take legislative action.”

Swift is not the only woman, whether famous or not, to be subjected to the creation of explicit AI-generated images without her consent.

Deepfake pornography stands out as one of the most disturbing uses of technology that has impacted prominent figures in entertainment, not to mention its use in creating new material without artists’ permission.

Moreover, the use of artificial intelligence was a key point in the negotiations of last year’s SAG strike: “Priority must be given to human creativity and ensuring that artificial intelligence does not outsource art.

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