"DeepNude" is just the beginning: How deepfakes will change everything

Things come and go so quickly in the online world, so you may have missed the recent news about a controversial app called DeepNude - the latest in a new generation of tech trickery the experts are calling deepfakes.

What are they, and why should you care?

DeepNude is - or more accurately was - an app that used AI (artificial intelligence) to create fake naked images of real women’s photos by appearing to strip off their clothing.

Almost as soon as DeepNude came to public attention via the  media, the app’s creator pulled it, conceding, amid a global outcry, that the likelihood that it would be used to harass women was “too high" - not to mention the  legal implications of the app being used to create revenge-porn images.

But because the internet is forever - and nothing ever truly goes away - DeepNude is still available in a variety of dodgy online spaces.

Targeting girls and women

The images created by DeepNude and other apps like it are easy to identify as fake, for now. But the damage they can inflict is very real. The technology is advancing all the time - and it’s using girls and women as target practice.

“Since the term ‘deepfake’ was coined, the technology has consistently been used to target women,” noted a recent report in The Verge. “People can use deepfakes to create pornographic and nude images of co-workers, friends, classmates, even family members, and the realism of this content has only increased over time. The best images created by DeepNude look real at a glance, and that’s all that might be needed to cause terrible damage to someone’s life.”

It concluded, “DeepNude is just the tip of the iceberg.”

As for the rest of the iceberg, think Titanic, warns technology correspondent Jon Davidson of the Australian Financial Review.

Beyond porn 

Why? Because deepfake technology has the capacity to create video and audio content that is “genuinely indiscernible from videos of events that actually took place, of words that actually were spoken.”

The term deepfake - coined in 2017 as a mash-up of “deep learning” and “fake” - has been defined as a technique for “human image synthesis” using artificial intelligence.

To date, deepfake technology has been used extensively to create phony celebrity pornographic videos or revenge porn, a la DeepNude. But deepfakes are also being used to create fake news and malicious hoaxes for dissemination on social media.


Davidson cites the recent example of a fake video of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg bragging that “Whoever controls the data, controls the future.”

Interestingly, Facebook refused to remove the deepfake video of its chief, which appeared on Instagram and swiftly went viral. (See it here)

Faking the future of democracy? 

“Artificial intelligence algorithms that can make any outlandish claim look and feel like the truth does not bode well for the future of … well, for the future of just about anything you may happen to care about. Democracy. Commerce. Investment. Sport. Race relations. Gender relations. The planet,” Davidson maintains.

The only conceivable weapon against the AI that creates deepfakes, he believes, is yet more AI - in the form of screening algorithms that detect the fakes.

“And so begins the AI arms race,” he warns, “in which Big Tech has no option but to fund research into creating an artificial intelligence capable of policing the entire population of the planet in real time. It’s difficult to see that ending well.”




Things happen fast in the digital world. With Family Zone, you’ll never get left behind.

We’re Australia’s number-one choice for superior cyber-safety - and the advice, insight and education every digital parent needs.


Topics: Parental Controls, Screen time, Mobile Apps, Cyber Safety, digital parenting, teens on social media, deepfakes

    Try Family Zone for FREE

    Sign up now to try Family Zone for 1 month, totally free of charge.

    Free Trial
    Subscribe to our newsletter
    Follow us on social media
    Popular posts
    Parental Controls | Cyber Safety | Cyber Experts | parenting | roblox
    Roblox: What parents must know about this dangerous game for kids
    Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | musical.ly | Social Media | tiktok | child development | self-harm | sexualisation
    One mum's jaw-dropping journey through TikTok
    Parental Controls | online gaming | Social Media | primary school | krunker
    Krunker has landed - and it's got our kids in the crosshairs
    Parental Controls | Screen time | online gaming | roblox | sleep
    Family Zone: Now blocking Roblox with a single click
    Parental Controls | Screen time | teens on social media | wellbeing | dating app
    Swipe right for trouble: Six teen dating apps parents need to know about
    Parental Controls | Screen time | Mobile Apps | online safety | cyberbullying | privacy | Houseparty | pornbombing | data mining
    "Houseparty" is off the hook right now: What parents need to know

    Recent posts

    Screens, sleep and self-regulation: Which kids are most at risk?

    We are learning more every day about the impact of screen-time on our children’s minds and bodies - and that includes the link between ...

    Pre-pandemic, I was a parenting expert. Now I know better

    Anya Kamenetz used to be so sure about what parents needed to do about screen-time. But that was B.C. - Before Coronavirus. 

    Can your postcode predict your kids' screen-time?

    A major study has found socioeconomic status has an outsize impact on the amount of screen-time kids consume.

    Instagram is re-wiring your child's brain (and yours too)

    Our devotion to the 'gram is quite literally changing the structure of our brains, and the implications for our mental health and wellbeing ...