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- AI Startup's Controversial Move
AI Startup's Controversial Move
Deepfakes Created Without Permission Raise Ethical Concerns
Backstory Yepic AI, a company renowned for its AI technology, recently landed in hot water. In a bold move, they sent unsolicited deepfaked videos to a TechCrunch reporter. The kicker? The reporter never granted permission to have their likeness reproduced.
What are Deepfakes?
Definition: Generative AI systems create deepfakes that resemble photos, videos, or audio of real individuals.
Concern: The ease with which they're made can lead to misuse, especially without the individual's knowledge.
Yepic's Stance on Ethics
Claim: On their "Ethics" page, they categorically prohibited using deepfakes for political satire and other such purposes.
Past Assurance: They openly expressed, in an August blog post, their refusal to produce avatars without explicit consent.
CEO's Response Aaron Jones, the chief executive of Yepic AI, had this to say:
They're updating their ethics policy to allow for “artistic and expressive purposes.”
He clarified that neither he nor the core Yepic team had a direct hand in the video's creation. Instead, it was a PR move meant to showcase Yepic's tech prowess.
He assured that the videos and the reporter's images used have been deleted.
The Larger Concern Deepfakes aren't just about non-consensual videos; they've had more sinister applications:
Scams: Trick victims into relinquishing crypto or personal data.
Financial Frauds: In one instance, AI was used to mimic a CEO's voice, leading to a fraudulent transaction worth hundreds of thousands of euros.
Nonconsensual Imagery: Before the financial scams, deepfakes gained notoriety for creating nonconsensual explicit imagery, predominantly targeting women.
While AI and deepfakes hold immense promise for various sectors, the ethical implications cannot be ignored. As seen with Yepic AI, even with policies in place, boundaries can be inadvertently crossed. The tech community must tread with caution
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