"The processing time is quite short, ten seconds."

Exposure Settings

German artist Mathias Vef and designer Benedikt Groß have teamed up to create a "deepfake camera" that immediately undresses its subjects, with or without consent.

The camera, dubbed NUCA, is a consumer-sized device that uses AI to generate nude pictures of practically any clothed person in a matter of seconds.

Sure, it's a glaring privacy violation in the form of a compact camera. But Vef and Groß are using the stunt to send a much broader message: how generative AI is corroding the very fabric of reality itself, Fast Company reports — a salient point, wrapped up in a provocative sales pitch.

"NUCA has already sparked diverse reactions, ranging from fears of AI's bias towards body cult and beauty mania to enthusiasm for its celebration of natural human beauty and form," the project's website reads. "This project prompts a crucial discussion on AI's potential, emphasizing consent, algorithmic fairness, and the societal impacts of AI-generated imagery."

Full Frontal

In its current form, the NUCA camera is a 15-ounce compact camera, made from 3D-designed and printed parts. An embedded smartphone captures the image and sends it to a Stable Diffusion engine. The AI model adds the face of the real-world subject onto an AI-generated, fully naked body.

"The processing time is quite short, ten seconds," Vef told Fast Company. "One of the challenges was to reduce the time for the generation of the images. We used mostly tools that are publicly available, but to combine them in a very efficient way and put it in a working device is something that hasn’t been done before."

It's not Vef and Groß's intent to actually invade anybody's privacy. At this point, NUCA's not much more than a working prototype, primarily designed for artistic expression. The pair plan to show off the prototype at an exhibition in Berlin this summer.

Despite being a provocation, it's not a stretch to believe we'll soon see the emergence of similar consumer products. Generative AI tech has come a long way and has already successfully crossed the uncanny valley, producing photorealistic images of both real and fake people.

That's led to plenty of mayhem already. The news comes after pornographic deepfakes of Taylor Swift started flooding social media feeds, leading to widespread outrage. Deepfakes of underage girls are also being passed around schools, raising alarm bells.

In short, Vef and Groß are addressing a very real issue by dressing it up in a slick sales pitch — and it serves us well to heed their warning.

More on deepfakes: AOC Announces Bill That Would Let Women Sue People Who Make Deepfake Porn of Them

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