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Saturday, June 22, 2024

AI Porn: The Emerging Crisis in India

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has permeated nearly every aspect of modern life, from healthcare to entertainment. However, one of the more troubling applications of this technology is the creation of AI-generated pornography, often referred to as ‘AI porn’. This phenomenon encompasses a range of activities, from the generation of synthetic images and videos of real individuals to the creation of entirely fictitious adult content. While AI porn represents a technological marvel, its implications for society are deeply concerning and multifaceted.

AI porn typically involves deep learning algorithms and neural networks, particularly Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs). These networks are trained on vast datasets of real pornographic material, learning to generate realistic images and videos. Some AI tools can even create hyper-realistic representations of real people, often without their consent. This practice is known as deepfake porn and has become increasingly sophisticated and accessible.

One of the most alarming aspects of AI porn is its capacity to create explicit content without the consent of the individuals depicted. This is particularly harmful when celebrities, public figures, or private individuals find their likeness used in deepfake pornographic content. The non-consensual nature of these creations constitutes a severe violation of privacy and personal autonomy.

In January alone, MrDeepFakes, a prominent website for deepfake porn, received 88.4 million visits, as reported by Semrush, a US-based online traffic analytics service. The number of synthetic adult videos has seen a dramatic 24-fold increase from 2019 to 2023. Last year, 143,868 new deepfake videos were uploaded online, highlighting the explosive growth of this disturbing trend.

One of the troubling trends is the proliferation of websites exclusively hosting celebrity porn videos. MrDeepFakes is the most viewed among these, featuring celebrities’ faces grafted onto porn stars’ bodies. Users can even pay to request specific celebrity deepfakes. Similarly, AdultDeepFakes, another popular site, had 19.4 million visits in January, half of which were unique visitors.

A report by the Centre for International Governance Innovation indicates that 96% of deepfake images are pornographic, with 99% of them targeting women. A study by Home Security Heroes found that 94% of individuals featured in deepfake porn are from the entertainment sector, emphasizing the gendered nature of this exploitation.

Although India lacks a dedicated porn industry, it is a significant player in the production and consumption of deepfake porn. Sites like Pornkeen and Bollyxxx, featuring Bollywood actresses, had 2.2 million and 484,000 visitors respectively in January itself. The Indian market for deepfake porn is growing rapidly, with significant traffic originating from the country on global platforms like MrDeepFakes.

Recent research conducted by Home Security Heroes has shed light on the alarming prevalence of deepfake pornography online, revealing a troubling trend of non-consensual and explicit content generated using sophisticated artificial intelligence technology. With an astonishing 98% of deepfake videos found online being explicitly pornographic, the misuse of this technology poses significant challenges to privacy, consent, and digital well-being in the digital age.

The research conducted by Home Security Heroes uncovered a staggering 95,820 deepfake videos online in 2023, marking a remarkable 550% surge compared to measurements recorded in 2019. This exponential growth underscores the rapid proliferation of deepfake technology and its increasingly pervasive presence in the digital landscape. Of particular concern is the overwhelming majority of deepfake videos being explicitly pornographic, highlighting the distressing misuse of this technology for generating illicit content.

Across the top ten dedicated deepfake pornography websites, the cumulative video views total an astonishing 303,640,207, highlighting the extensive consumption and dissemination of deepfake-generated pornographic material. This substantial figure underscores the normalization and proliferation of deepfake pornography within online communities, exacerbating the risks of exploitation, harassment, and harm.

The monthly traffic generated across the leading ten dedicated deepfake pornography websites reached 34,836,914 this year. This considerable number shows the undeniable demand and the immense engagement these platforms command.

People flock to these websites in significant numbers, reflecting a widespread interest in the content they offer. The magnitude of this traffic makes it clear that societal curiosity and appetite for this controversial content category are on the rise. Additionally, it indicates deepfake technology’s growing influence on shaping online preferences for creators and consumers.

The rapid rise of AI porn, particularly deepfake pornography, poses significant ethical, psychological, and social challenges. While the technology offers certain conveniences and anonymity that appeal to users, its potential for misuse and harm is considerable. Addressing these concerns requires robust legal frameworks, technological solutions for detection, public awareness campaigns, and support systems for victims. Only through a comprehensive and proactive approach can society mitigate the adverse effects of this burgeoning technological trend.

The ease of creating deepfake porn, combined with its high demand, has spawned numerous tutorials and guides online. The report by Home Security Heroes indicates that a 60-second deepfake pornographic video can be produced for free in under 25 minutes. This accessibility further fuels the proliferation of such content.

While some argue that AI could replace human sex workers, potentially reducing exploitation, the ethical and psychological implications are profound. AI porn can distort perceptions of sex and consent, leading to unrealistic expectations and harmful behaviors in real-life relationships.

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