I Deepfaked My Own Nudes. They Were Not as Hot as the Real Thing

As artificial intelligence technology has advanced over the last year, there is increasing concern—and glee—over the idea that AI will remove the need for any real nudity on the internet. It’s so over for those OnlyFans models, the trolls seeking engagement on X, formerly known as Twitter, have said, now that AI allows anyone to create realistic images of small-waisted, big-breasted women.

In fact, AI can not only generate naked images of some curvy blond, but a realistic approximation of a curvy blond with a name and a Social Security number. It’s now possible to upload photos of real people—maybe even someone you know—into an online software TK that will generate a picture of a naked body that bears the face of the person in question. By virtue of having an online presence and a few decent photos of yourself, you, too, may one day have X-rated images created of you.

As Hany Farid, image forensics expert and professor at University of California, Berkeley told 404 Media in August, the latest AI technology and access to it has democratized so-called deepfakes to a frightening degree. “The threat has moved from anyone with a large digital footprint to anyone with even a modest digital footprint,” he told 404. “And, of course, now that these tools and content are being monetized, there is even more incentive to create and distribute them.” A quick Google will surface dozens of websites claiming to do this.

I was curious whether these products were as accurate as they claimed, and it seemed like the only real way to assess that was to test it on the body I know best: my own. I went to a website that explained that the ideal picture would be full-body, well-lit, in somewhat formfitting clothing that contrasts well with the person’s skin. (In other words, something you would find on the average woman’s Instagram account.) I uploaded a mirror selfie I’d already posted on X, and after waiting for 30 seconds or so, the original image was replaced by a highly blurred photo that implied a naked body. To see the final product, I had to pay up. $36.50 got me the Standard Plus: access to 110 uploads and two differently trained AI models the site called “nudifers.” The latest model, v2, claimed to offer “better breasts,” “better lighting prediction,” and “smoother skin” for an additional $6.55. For the chance to see an allegedly superior version of my own tits, this seemed like a bargain.

The result: my face, hair, arms, and hands, affixed to a bare torso, pelvis, and legs that looked like maybe, in some universe, they belonged to me. The breasts in v1, despite the site’s claims, look a bit more accurate, though the quality of the image made with v2 overall is higher. There, my stomach has some definition, the curvature of my ribcage is faintly visible, the nipples—while larger than my own—appear natural. I look, overall, pretty good. Hot, even. Most importantly, to the untrained eye, the images—v2 in particular—could pass as authentic.

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