App used to ‘undress’ women taken offline by its creators
An app that used a machine learning algorithm to “undress” images of clothed women has been taken offline by its creators.
The makers of the DeepNude app have faced a backlash over the way it objectified women.
Tech news site Motherboard reported an anonymous programmer, with the alias “Alberto”, created the app, which can take an image of a clothed woman and turn it into a nude with superimposed body parts.
DeepNude said it had “greatly underestimated” interest in the project and took it offline because “the world is not yet ready”.
It said “the probability that people will misuse it is too high”, adding: “We don’t want to make money this way.”
People who bought the app, which was available for Windows and Linux, will get a refund, the developers said. They also urged people who had a copy not to share it.
The algorithm used generative adversarial networks (GANs) and only works on images of women – because it is easy to find thousands of pornographic images of nude women online.
After Motherboard published its story, the server for the app crashed, prompting DeepNude to announce that it was offline because “we didn’t expect this traffic”.
It later tweeted: “Here is the brief history, and the end of DeepNude. We created this project for users’ entertainment a few months ago. We thought we were selling a few sales every month in a controlled manner.
“Honestly, the app is not that great, it only works with particular photos. We never thought it would become viral and we would not be able to control the traffic.”
A free version would place a large watermark across the images while a $50 (£39) version placed a smaller watermark in a corner, which Motherboard said could be easily remove or cropped out.
Alberto told The Verge on Friday that someone else would have created the app if DeepNude had not done so first.
“The technology is ready”, he said. –skynews